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Officers of the Society, 1874, 































GEORGE H. MOORE, LL.D., Secretary. 

[ The President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and I^ibrarian, 
are members, ex officio^ of the Executive Committee.] 





ANDREW WARNER, Secretary. 

[ The President, Libraxian, and Chairman of the Executive Com- 
mittee, are members, ex officio^ of the Committee on the Fine Arts.] 











Of the army of 

The united STATES of AMERICA, 

For the TRIAL of 

Major General LEE. 

JULY 4/yi, 1778. 

Major General Lord Stirling, Prefident. 


PRINTED BY JOHN DUNLAP, in Market-Street. 





Majou-Genkral Lord STIRLING, Pres^ident. 
Brigadier-Geneual SMALLTVOOD, Coix)Nel SWIFT, 


Brigadier-General WOODFORD. g Colonel ANGEL, 
Brkjadier-General HUNTINGDON, S Coix)Nel CLARKE, 

Colonel IRVINE, S Colonel WILLIAMS, 

Colonel SHEPIIARD, Colonel FEBIGER, 

John Lairance [J^awrence]^ Judye Advocate. 

THE Judge Advocate produces the General's Orders 
for the Court to set, whicli being read, are as fol- 

Head-Quarters^ Spotswood, Jidy 1, 1778. 

A GENERAL Court Martial, whei'eof Lord Stirling 
is ap})ointed President, will set in Brunswick to-mor- 
row, (the hour and place to be appointed by the Presi- 
dent,) for the trial of Major-General Lee. Brigadier- 
Generals Sniallwood, Poor, Woodford, and Hunting- 
don, and Colonels Grayson, Johnson, Wigglesworth, 
Fel)iger, Swift, Angel, Clarke, and Williams, are to 
attend as Members. 

Head-Quart^.rs^ Brumxvich^ July 2, 177S. 

THE General Court Martial ordered to set this day 
for the trial of Major-General Lee, will set to-morrow 
at eight o'clock, at the house of Mr. Voorhees, in the 
tow^n of New-Brunswick. Members the same as yester- 
day, except Colonel Shephard vice Colonel Johnson. 
Vol. III.— 1 

••• • 


• , 

• • • 


• • •- 

• * 


• • • 

Head- Quarters, Jnhj 3, 1778. 

THE General Court Martial, whereof Major-Geiiei'al 
Lord Stirling is President, will assemble to-nioiTow 
morning, at the time and })lace mentioned in yester- 
day's orders. Members the same as heretofore men- 
tioned, except Colonel Irvine vice Colonel Grayson. 

JULY 4th. 

The President, Memliers, and Judge Advocate being 
sworn : The Judge Advocate prosecuting in the name 
of the United States of America, the Court pi'oceed to the 
trial of Major-General Lee,who a p])ears before the Court, 
and the followini; cliarires are exhil)ited a<j:ainst him : 

First : For disobedience of orders, in not attacking the 

enemy on the 2iSth of June, agreeal)le to repeated 

Secondly : For misbehaviour before the enemy on the 

same day, l)v makini^ an ^in necessary, di'^ordtrh/, 

and shain^tal retreat. 
Thirdly: For disrespect to the Commander-in-Chief, 

in two letters dated the 1st of July and the 2Sth 

of June. 

Majok-General Lee jdeads Not Gtilty. 
Brigai>ieu-Genej:al Scorr beini^: sworn : 

Q. Did you hear General Washingtcm give General 
Lee any orders the 27th of June I 

A. I was sent for to Head Quarters early in the after- 
noon of the 27th of June. I heard Genei'al Washing- 
ton say in ])resen<*e of General Lee, the Manpiis de la 
Fayette, General Maxwell, and myself, that he intended 
to have the enemy attacked the next morniui^, or words 
to that effect, l)y the trooj)S under the command of Gene- 
ral Lee ; and he desired General Lee to call the general 
officers together that afternoon to concert some mode of 
attack. General Lee. appointed the time at half-j>ast 
five, but before the officers met General Lee had rode 
out. I fell in with General Lee th*t evening, and told 


him that I had waited on him, and asked him if he had 
any orders ? General Lee said he had none, but said 
we shouhl not be disputing about rank or what part of 
the line we should march in. 

Q. Did you hear General Washington, on the 27th 
of June, positively order General Lee to attack the 
enemy the next morning ? 

A. I cannot say tliat it was a positive order, but it 
did not admit of a doubt with me, but that he meant 
that General Lee should attack the enemy the next 

General Lee's question. Did you conceive General 
Washington's orders, or the spirit of them, were to 
attack tlie enemy at all events, wliatever miglit be 
tlieir situation or their force, whether, for instance, it 
consisted of such a body as General Washington's intel- 
ligence announced, tliat is, of a slight covering party, 
or whether of the greater part of the flower oi their 
troops, as it turned out, or whether of the whole body 
of the British army ? 

A. I do not know what intelligence General Wash- 
ington had, but I understood we were to have attacked 
the enemy at all events. 

General Lee's <piestion. Did you conceive that his 
Excellency's orders I'estiicted me in my manceuvres, 
whether I was prohibited from manoeuvring retrograde 
or forwards, as the face of affairs demandecl, or whether 
I Avas absolutely enjoined, by my instructions, to march 
forward, or, at least, to remain on the very ground that 
the attack should happen to commence, in spight of all 
considerations ? 

A. I conceived you were to proceed on, and where-* 
ever you met with tlie enemy to take the earliest opj^or-* 
tunity to attack them. 

Brigadier-Gexeral Wayt^e being sworn : 

Q. Did you hear General Washington give General 
Lee any orders the 27th of June respecting his attack- 
ing the enemy ? 


A. General WasLington called upon General Scott, 
General Maxwell and myself the 27th of June, to come 
forward to tlie place 'where he and General Lee were 
talking ; and there recommended to us to fall upcm some 
proper mode of attacking the enemy next morning. I 
did not hear General A\ ashington give any particular 
orders for the attack, but he reconnnended that there 
should be no dispute in regard to rank, in case of an 
attack, that as General Maxwell was the oldest, he of 
right would have the preference, but that the troops that 
were under his command, were mostly new" levies, and 
therefore not the proper troops to bring on the attack ; 
he thei'efore wished that the attack might be commenced 
by one of the picked cori)s, as it would })robably give 
a very happy impressicm. I do not recollect anything 
more having been said there upon the subject, but Gen- 
eral Lee appointed the Generals w^ho were there, to 
meet at his quarters about five o'clock in the afternoon, 
which 1 understood w^as for the purpose of forming a 
plan of attack on the enemy, agreeable to the recom- 
mendation of General Washino^ton. 

Q. Did you hear General Washington the 2rth of 
June give General Lee a positive order to attack the 
enemy the next day ? 

A. I heard no more than what I have mentioned, 
but understood from it, that General Lee was to attack 
the enemy. 

Q. By the Court. Did you meet at General Lee's 
quarters to concert a plan of attack, or ^vas tliere a 
plan of attack concerted, agreeable to tlie recommend- 
ation of his Excellency, any time previous to tlie at- 

A. At the houi' appointed I met with the Martjuis 
de la Fayette and General Maxwell, at General Lee's 
quarters. General Lee said he had nothing furthei* to 
reconnuend, than that there sliould be no dispute with 
regard to rank, in case of an attack, for he might 
probaV)ly order on either the right or the left wing, 
and he expected they would obey ; and if they con- 


ceived themselves aggrieved, to complain afterwards, 
and that he had nothing further to say on the subject, 
but that tlie troops were to be held in readiness to 
move at a moment's warning. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect my giving 
you some reasons for not arranging a mode of attack ? 

A. When you mentioned you had nothing further to 
say on the subject, you said that the position of the 
enemy might render any 2)revious plan invalid, or 
words to that purpose. 

General Lee's question. The same as his first to Gen- 
eral Scott. 

A. I undei-stood that we were to attack the enemy 
on their march, at all events, and that General Wash- 
ington w^ould l)e near us to support us with the main 

General Lee's question. The same as his second to 
General Scott. 

A. I underst(X)d we were to attack them, but as I 
heard no particular orders that were given you, but 
what I liave mentioned, I knew of no restrictions in 
regard to your manoeuvres. 

General Lee's question. Did General AVashington's 
conversation with me, convey the idea that it was his 
intention to bring on a general action of the two wdiole 
armies by my attack ? 

A. The idea I conceived from General Washington's 
conversation was, that we shoukl attack the enemy, 
and that he should be near to support us witli the 
main body of tlie army, w^hich, in its cimsecjuences, 
must, if we wei*e jmshed, inevitably, I think, have 
brought on a general action. 


Q. Did you carry General Lee orders from General 
Washington the 27th of June respecting General Lee's 
attacking the enemy next day ? 

A. Li the aftei'noon of the 27th, as General Wash- 
ington was returning from English-Town to his quar- 


ters, after Ave had crossed the brook and were rising a 
little ascent, wliere General Lee's troops were station- 
ed, General Washington ordered me to go to General 
Lee and tell him that it was his desire that he should 
draw^ up his troops on that ground in such a manner as 
if he was to receive an attack, or expected one ; that, 
though he did not think it very probable that the 
enemy would make any attack upon liim, yet, from the 
neamess of their situation, it was by no means impossi- 
ble, he therefore washed him to run no riscpie, and that 
the officers and men should remain on their arms all 
night. General Washington said, you will also tell 
him, when you and the general officers, who I supjwse 
may l)e now with him, have concerted measures for the 
attack, he will immediately send to General Dickinson 
and Colonel Morgan to let them know what parts they 
have to act. I accordingly went to General Lee's 
quarters, where I saw the Marcjuis de la Fayette, 
General Maxw^ell, and General Wayne, to the best of 
niv recollection. I called General Lee out and deliver- 
ed him the above order as nearly as I could. General 
Lee told me that when the troops had marched to that 
ground they were so exceedingly fatigued that he 
tliought it a pity to add to it by any immediate move- 
ment ; l)ut that before night he would i)ut them in the 
l>est position in his power to receive an attack ; that, 
from his ])ersonal knowledge of General Clinton, Lord 
Cornwallis, and Sir William Erskine, he thought it 
highly j^robable they might turn about and make a 
stroke at them ; and that if he had not l)een ])ers()nally 
acquainted with them, he wouhl have ex])ecte(l it from 
them as officers ; that he had just sent Mr. Mei-cer off 
to General Dickinson, but did not know wliere Colonel 
Morgan was. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Meade beins: sworn : 

Q. Did General Washington send you with orders 
to General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. On the morning of the 28th of June, General 


Washington was informed by General Dickinson tbat 
the enemy had left their ground, and were on their 
march. General Washington immediately ordered the 
troops with him to be put in motion, and desired me to 
go inmiediately to General Lee and inform him of it, 
to put the tiY>ops under his command in motion, leav- • 
ing their packs beliind, to follow the enemy, and bring* 
on an attack as soon as possible. I think, as well as 
I remember, I observed to General Washington that 
some circumstances might make it improper. General 
Washington observed that there might be some po^ver- 
ful reasons, but seemed exceedingly anxious to bring 
on an attack, and desired me to tell General Lee to 
bring on an attack, and that he would be up to sup- 
port him, as he had ordered his tro()])s to be put in 
motion. I proceeded to the gi'oimd where General 
Lee had encamped, found that he had marched and 
left his packs behind; I kept on and overtook the 
front of his column, advanced some distance beyond 
Englisli-Town, where they had halted. I asked some 
officer the cause, but was answered that he could give 
no reason for it. Shortly after I met Captain Mercer, 
one of General Lee's aids, who told me, if I remember 
right, that the enemy had not left tlie ground. I pro- 
ceeded and met General Lee — told him that I had 
come to him with orders from General Washington, 
but as the enemy remained on the ground, it would be 
needless to deliver the orders I haa for him. General 
Lee exclaimed against the intelligence that himself and 
General Washington had received, and said that he 
(General Lee) had advanced a body of troops that he 
thought in danger ; and that he had sent back to Gene- 
ral Wayne to take the command of them. During 
that time. Captain Walker, one of Baron Steuben's 
aids, came up, who informed General Lee that the ' 
enemy had left the ground ; General Lee did not / 
seem to credit it till it was repeated frequently by ^ 
Captain Walker. I then told General Lee that General 
Washington had desired he would put his troops in 


motion, and leave his packs behind. I then told him 
that General Washington had ordered the troops nnder 
his command to be put in motion immediately, and that 
General Washington desired he would bring on an 
engagement, or attack the enemy as soon as possi})le, 
unless some very powerful circumstance forl)ia it, and 
that General Wasnington would soon be up to his aid. 

General Lee's question. Did you perceive })y my 
manner, language or countenance, any disposition to 
litigate or chicane General Washington s orders, further 
than might arise from the distraction which such a 
variety of positive, contradictoiy, and equally authentic 
intelligence might have occasioned ? 

A. I have no reason to determine from what I saw% 
that you were willing or unwilling to execute General 
Washington's order. ' You exclaimed against the con- 
tradictory intelligence that you had received. 

General Lee's question. Did you conceive General 
Washington's orders were, or the spirit of tliein, to 
bring on a general action at all events of the two whole 
armies ? 

A. General Washington, I think, was anxious to 
bring on a general engagement between the two armies. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton being sw^orn : 

Q. Did you deliver General Lee any orders from 
General Washington the 27th or 28th of June, respect- 
ing his attackimj the enemy ? 

A. «'I Avrote General Lee a letter the evening of the 
27th of June, by General Washington's order, a copy 
of which I have not ; but it was conceived in the spirit, 
as I understood, of former orders that had l)een given 
by him to General Lee, and w^as occasioned by an 
apprehension (as declared to me l)y General Wasliing- 
ton) that the enemy might move off either at niglit or 
very early in the morning, and get out of our reach, so 
that the purpose of an attack might be frustrated. To 
remedy this, the order directed that General Lee should 
detach a party of or 800 men to lie very near the 


enemy as a party of observatiojiy in case of tlieir mov- 
ing off to give the earliest intelligence of it, and to 
skirmish with them so as to produce some delay, and 
give time for the rest of the troops to come up. It also 
directed that he should M^rite to Colonel Morgan, desir- 
ing him (in case of the enemy being on their march) 
to make an attack on them in such a manner as might 
also tend" to pi'oduce delay^ and yet not so as to en- 
danger a general rout of his party, and disqualify them 
from acting in concert with the other trooj)8 when a 
serious attack should be made. This, I understood 
from General Washington, was in pursuance of his 
intention to have the enemy attacked, and confomiable 
to the spirit of previous orders he had given General 
Lee for that purpose. This letter was sent off by a 
light-horseman, and the foregoing is the purport of it 
to the best of my recollection. 

General Lee's question. What hour was the letter 
sent off to me ? 

A. It was rather late in the evening. I went to bed 
soon after. 

Caitain Mercer being sworn : 

Q. Wh^t hour was the letter received from Colonel 
Hamiltcm by General Lee ? 

A. To the best of my recollection it was past one 
o'clock in the morning of the 28th of June. 

Captain Edwards being sworn : 

Q. What hour was the letter received from Colonel 
Hamilton by General Lee ? 

A. /When the exj)re8s came I got up and looked at 
the watch, and think it was near two o'clock by the 
watch ;;. I then immediately wrote to Colonel Morgan, 
General Dickinson and Colonel Grayson to comj)ly 
with the contents of the letter that General Lee 
received fi*om Colonel Hamilton, and sent off the light- 
horsemen to them. 

Q. to Colonel Hamilton. Did you conceive General 


Washington's orders, or the spirit of them, to General 
Lee, were to attack the enemy at all events ? 

A. I do not. I can't conceive that General Washing- 
ton couhl mean to give orders so extreme!)'' positive, 
but that circumstances, which had been unforeseen, 
might arise, to leave the officer, who had the execution 
of them, liberty to deviate; but, from everything I 
knew of tlie affair. General Wasliington's intention was 
fully to have the enemy attacked on their march, and 
that the circumstances must }>e very extraordiiiaiy and' 
unforeseen, which, consistent with his wish, could jus* 
tify the not doing it 

General Lee's question to Colonel Hamilton. Did 
you, either by letter to me, or in conversation with me, 
communicate this idea of General Wiishingtcm's inten- 
tion as fully and clearly as you have done it to the 
Court ? 

A. I do not recollect that I ever did. 

General Lee's question. Was your idea of General 
Washington's intention that I should attack the enemy, 
had I found them in the situation which General Dick- 
inson's intelligence assured me they were ; tliat is, the 
whole arranged in order of battle, at or near [the ] Court- 
house i 

A. . I knew nothing of General Dickinson's intelli- 
gence; but were the enemy's whole army diawn up in 
order of battle near the Courthouse, I do not conceive 
it was General Washington's intention to have them 
attacked by your detachment. 

The Court adjourn till to-morrow morning at 8 

JULY 5th. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

The Marquis de la Fayette being sworn : 

Q. Were you with the troops under the command of 
General Lee the 28th of June ( 
A. I was. 


Q. /Did the troops under the ccmmaiid of General 
Lee make any attack on the enemy the 28th of June ? 

A. I went to Gen'eral Lee in the afternoon of the 
27th of June, and told him I wanted to be with him 
the next day ; he answered that he was very glad of it. 
I asked General Lee if he had made any previous dis- 
position of the troops. General Lee answered tliat he 
thought it would be better for the service to act 
according to circumstances. , The morning of the 28th 
I sent at four o'clock to General Lee's quarters, to know 
if there was anything new ; the answer I received w as 
that one brigade was already marching. As I con- 
sidered myself as a volunteer, I asked General Lee 
what part of the troops I was to be wdth ? General 
Lee said, if it was convenient to me, to be with the 
selected troops. I put myself with them, in full ex- 
pectation that these troops would act and be oj)posed to 
the British grenadiers. When we were on the march, 
having marched about one mile. General Lee sent orders 
to halt. I stopped some time ; but being very impa- 
tient, I went to General Lee to know what was the 
matter. Tjle answered, that all the intelligence did not' 
agree together ; and by his answers I saw that he could* 
not be assured that ^e enemy were marching. How-* 
ever, after some time, we began to marcli again ; we 
halted once more, and, I think, because General Lee 
received intelligence that the enemy were close by ; and 
I saw some light-horse of the enemy tow\ards Monmouth 
Court-house. I sent my Aid-de-Camp to General Lee, 
to represent to him that the place where I was, the 
cannon and the troops were in a hole, in which it was 
impossible for us to do anything ; General Lee answered 
that he did not care for that moment, but that he would 
provide for it. On the march, some troops were taken 
from General Wayne's detachment to go forward ; and, 
as I was afiaid of losing the opportunity of meeting 
the enemy, I desired General Foreman to point (mt to 
the detachment taken from General Wayne's detach- 
ment, a short road to go forward. Afterwards I 


marclied again, and I saw one of General Lee's aids, 
who told me that the rear-guard of the enemy was ours ; 
and General Lee himseli, some time after, told me 
something like it in less positive terms. lie desired 
me to tell at the head of Wayne's division, where 
Colonel Livingston's regiment was, to file off along the 
wood ; and, upon my representation that the cannon 
could not })ass, he told me that tlie cannon could go 
along the road. Some moments after General Lee tohl 
me that those shoidd go along a fence that was upon 
our right. An Aid-de-Camj) from General Lee told me 
that the enemy were gaining our right, and that I 
should prevent them by gaining their left. I went to 
General Lee, and I understood it was his intention. 
Then I found one of tlie columns under the fire of the 
enemy's artillery almost l)efore the front. I told 
Colonel Livingston, that as soon as tlie other columns 
would form on my right, rather than to stay there still, 
it was better to go to take the enemy's l)atteries that 
^yere before us. I wjis surprized, then looking })ack, to 
see some of our troops forming towards the village of 
Fi'eehold, as they were behind me. I was then told 
that the troops had been ordered to form there by 
General Lee, and suj)posed it was on account of the 
openness of the field, or the fear of being turaed in 
flank. I rode, myself, to General Lee when Colonel 
Livin^ifston was retirino:;? I found General Lee towards 
the village giving orders that the troops should take 
post farther l)ack, and disposing some of them in the 
woods to annoy the enemy ; then I saw all the colunms 
of our troops going that way ; I was then afrai<l, as 
these with whom I was were^lot going veiy fast, that 
the enemy would point some battery towards them. 
General Lee began to form some troops in that new 
j>()sition, and told me that I should take care of their 
right ; then it was told to General Lee that some of the 
enemy were filing by their left, and General Lee 
ordered a new position to he taken back, and the can- 
non to be removed. While this was doing General 


Wasliingtoii amved. Afterwards I acted by direction 
of General Washington, and went to tlie command of 
the second line. 

Q. Did the troops under the command of General 
Lee, to your knowledge, make any attack on the enemy 
the 28th of June? 

A. I cannot say that I saw them make any attack on 
the enemy ; I saw them setting out for that j)ur])ose, 
and I heard some noise of cannon ; but cannot tell from 
which j)arty they were fired. 

Q. Were you Avith General Lee's trooj)8 fi'om the 
time they set out to attack the enemy to the time they 
returned ? 

A. I was with General Lee's troops until General 
Washingt(m came up. At that time I was remaining 
with a very small part of General Lee's troops. 

General Lee's question. If any attack had been 
made on the enemy, were you in a position that you 
could have seen it ? 

A. No. 

General Lee's question. From what you saw, and 
from everything that was done, had you not the great- 
est reason to conclude we either had attacked or 
put ourselves into such a situation to bring on their 
attack "i 

A. By what Mr. Malmedie told me, and you after- 
wards, my idea of the matter was such that you Avanted 
to cut off a small part of the enemy's rear, and that 
nothing was to be feared but to lose time or ground ; 
but that your intention was to cut off that part I could 
not judge but by what you said to me. 

General Lee's question. Did I not direct you to 
move with your corps towards the enemy in one par- 
ticular direction, at the same time that I did another 
corps across a \vood ? 

A. I received vsuch orders for myself, but I know 
nothing a])Out any orders the other corps received. I 
saw some other troops marching through the woods. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect the par- 


ticular words I made use of when I spoke of the party 
being ours ? 

A. The words were : My dear Marquis, I think those 
people are ours. 

General Lee's question. Did you observe in my 
voice, manner, appearance, air or countenance, that I 
was in the least disconcerted, or whether, on the con- 
trary, I was not tranquil and cheaiful ? 

A. It seemed to me by your voice and features you 
were then as you are in general. 

Q. What number of troops marched out under the 
command of General Lee the 28th of June to attack 
the enemy ? 

A. About thirty-three hundred, exclusiv^e of Colonel 
Jackson's regiment, and General Varnum's and Scott's 

Q. What troops marched in fi'ont ? 

A. The troops under the command of Colonel Durgee 
and Colonel Grayson. 

Q. Did you receive any orders from General Lee to 
advance and attack the enemy Avith your detachment, or 
did you receive any orders from General Lee to retreat ? 

A. I received an order from General Lee to gain the 
left flank of the enemy. I was told that the orders for 
i-etreating came officially fi'om General Lee ; Avhen I 
arrived at Freehold, General Lee did not disapj)rove 
of it. All the other orders for retreating came from 
General Lee._ 

Question by the Court. Were the several corps tliat 
you have mentioned disposed so as to act collectively 
m support of each other ; or were they separated })y 
detachments ? 

A. When I was in the Avoods I could not see anv- 
thing of the disposition. The part of the column I did 
see Avas together ; for in the field I did not ])er(.'eive 
any general compact plan, and the disposition at large, 
of General Lee, was not communicated to me. 

Q. Did you gain the enemy's flank before you re- 
treated i 


A. I was going to do it, though I found thei*e was 
not a good deal of time for doing it ; but wlien I was 
at about the fourth part of what Avas necessaiy to be 
done, I saw that the other troops were going towards 
the village. 

Q. Did you understand by their going towards the 
village that they were reti-eating ? 

A. I understood they were taking back a better 

Q. When you retreated what distance were you from 
the enemy ? 

A. I was leading the column the nearest to the 
enemy, and there Ave had some killed by cannon sliot. 

Q. Could you estimate the number of the enemy 
from their appearance 'i 

A. I could not see all, but I thought I saw about 
twelve hundred of them ; theii* horse were covering 
their front. 

Q. Were the enemy in motion at that time ? 

A. The enemy were marching towards us, and they 
were likely to make that movement which they make in 
all their actions to give jealousy to our right or left 

Q. General Lee's question. Did you not express 
yoiu* apprehension for our right flank i 

A. I told you that there was a gentleman who had 
seen some troops going that way, and I told you to take 
care of it. 

General Lee's question. When you said you did not 
observ^e any com])act plan, did you mean that the artil- 
lery did not, except Avhen it was prevented by acci- 
dents, such as ammunition ])eing expended or horses 
killed, support the battalions, and the battalions the 
artillery, witli more regularity than could })e expected 
in manoeuvres of this kind ? 

A. My meaning was, that I did not see Avhat was 
the disposition of the several corps. I did find some 
want in the artillery, but that might be owing to acci- 


General Lee's question. Did I not express an inten- 
tion of taking post in the rear of the ravine that crossed 
the plain, and for this purpose did I not detach you with 
a body of troops to take post in the village of Freehold, 
to see if the village would not cover our Aving ? 

A.^o^^ pointed out to nie the particular direction 
where the troops should go ; you nad told me a mo- 
ment before to take care of the right, and I understood it 
w'as in case we should have taken a position on that spot. 

Genei'al Lee's question. When you had reconnoi- 
tered the village of Freehold, did you find it aff(mled 
the security that was expected ? 

A. I found that the village did not answer any ma- 
terial purpose. 

General Lee's question. Did I give you any reason 
to suppose that the principle of our retrograde inanceii- 
vres was founded on an apprehension of being pressed 
and beat in front, so much as it was founded on that of 
having our flanks turned ? 

A./ I did not know which was your principle. The 
only reasonalde principle to suppose was this, of hav- 
ing your flanks turned. 

General Lee's question. Did you not observe in 
these retrograde manceuvres, that the different emi- 
nences through the extent of country, from Freehold to 
the eminence where General Washington had taken 
place, were all in favor of the enemy, so that the emi- 
nence on the enemy's side commanded the eminence on 
ours ? 

A. I did not remark that ; but in some places the 
want of cannon was complained of. 

General Lee's question. What authority had you 
to suppose that the Aid-de-Camp, Avho you were told 
brought orders from me to mov^e back your corps as 
you were advancing towards the enemy, was sent ])y 
me ? 

A. I w^as told so, but I cannot say by Avhom, and as 
I had only one battalion in the field, and the others liad 
retreated to Freehold, where you were, I thought that 


such an order was coming of course. I cannot answer 
so well of the motion of the troops, as there was a 
great confusion and contrariety in the orders, and a 
complaint amongst the troops on account of it 

Q. Do you know the distance from the place where 
the troops retreated from to the place where General 
Washington came up ? 

A. Colonel Livingston's battalion, which was in the 
centre of the column, was, when it began to retreat, 
about one-quarter of a mile in advance of Freehold. 

Q. Did you think that the num])er of the enemy's 
troops that followed was equal to the number of ours 
that retreated ? 

A. The number of the enemy did not appear to be 
equal to oui's, but I thought that intelligence had been 
received that all the British army were coming upon 

The Court adjourned till to-morrow, eight o'clock. 

JULY 6th. 
The Court met according to adjournment. 

Brigadier-General Wayne [being sworn] : 

Q. Were you with the troops under the command of 
General Lee that marched towards the enemy the 28th 
of June? 

A. I was. 

Q. Did the trooj)s under the command of General 
Lee make any attack on the enemy the 28th of June ? 

A. On the 28th of June I received orders from 
General Lee to prepare and march with the troops 
under my command immediately. Having marched 
about a mile with a detachment there Avas a halt made 
in front. About one-half an hour after, I received a 
message by one of General Lee's aids to leave my 
detachment and come to the front, and take the 
command of the troops that were in front ; that it was 
Vol. III.— 2 


a post of honor, that tlie enemy were advancing, and 
to come on immediately. I overtook General Lee near 
tlie Meeting-house. When I arrived there I found 
about six hundred rank and file, with two pieces of 
artilleiy, from Scott's and Woodford's brigades, and 
General Varnum's brigade, drawn up ; Scott's advanced 
up a morass, the other in the rear of it. Some intelli- 
gence had been sent from General Dickinson to Gene- 
ral Lee, which, when General Lee came up, he said he 
was surprised General Dickinson had sent him such 
intelligence, on account of which he had halted the 
troops there. Some troops were said to be seen by 
some people advancing to our right. I took my glass, 
})ut saw only a few countrymen. The troops were then 
ordered to advance, and had not advanced far ]>efore a 
lic^ht-horseman came and mentioned to General Lee that 
the enemy were advancing from the Court-house down 
a road that led tlirough the woods, upoij Avhich General 
Lee directed that the troops might be formed so as to 
cover two roads that Avere in the woods where the 
troops had advanced and formed, and Colonel Butler, 
with his detachment, and Colonel Jackson, with his 
detachment, were then ordered in front. Colonel But- 
ler fonned the advance guard and marched on. 'J'ln^ 
trooi)S took up again their line of march and followed 
him. When we arrived near the edge of some o])en 
ground in view of the Court-house, we observed a }>ody 
of the enemy's horse drawn up cm the northwest side, 
and between us and the Court-house. General I^ee 
ordered the trooj)s to halt, and by wheeling them to 
the right they were i*educed to a proper front to tlie 
enemy's horse, though then under cover of the avockIs. 
General Lee and myself were advancin<2r to reconnoiter 
the enemy, and had directed the horse and gentlemen 
with us to remain under cover. In advancing a ])ieoe 
fonvard (jeneral Lee received some messaii-e Axliich 
stoj)ped him. I went on to a place where I had a fair 
j)rosj)ect fi'om my glass of the enemy. Their horse 
seemed so much advanced from the foot, that 1 could 


hardly perceive the movement of tlie foot, which in- 
duced me to send for Colonel Butler s detacliment, and 
Colonel Jackson's detachment, in order to drive their 
horse back. J then detached part of Butler's people, 
who drove the horse into the village, by whicli means 
I could perceive the enemy were moving from us in* 
very great disorder and confusion. . This intelligence I • 
sent by one of my volunteer aids to General Lee, re- 
questing that the troops might be pushed on. In about 
ten or fifteen minutes after this the enemy made a halt, 
and appeared to be collecting and forming in same 
order. I V>elieve by this time one of General Lee's aids 
came up, and I desired him to infonn General Lee that 
the enemy liad made a stand, and', fi'om present aj)pear- 
ances, shewed they were Av-aiting us, and were not • 
in much force. Their number appeared to be tlien, 
about five or six hundred foot, and about tliree hundred 
horse, and I desired that the troops niiglit be pushed 
up. I sent, also, Major Lenox and Major Fishbourne 
to General Lee with the same account. '^ One of the 
gentlemen returned with, I think, one of General Lee's 
aids, who told me that it was General Lee's orders£;that 
I should advance with Colonel Butler s detachment, 
consisting of about two hundred men, and Colonel 
Jackson's detachment, consisting of, I think, about an 
equal numV)er. Upon our advancing, the enemy took 
up their line of march and })egan to move on. I crossed 
the morass about three-quarters of a mile to the east of 
the Court-house, near to tlie edge of a road leading to 
Middletown, near the road where the enemy were march^ 
ing upon ; when the enemy fired a field-piece and set 
fire to some out-buildings. Tlie whole of the enemy then 
in view halted. I advanced a piece in front of the 
troops upon a little eminence, in order to have a view 
of their position and a view of their movements. I 
also perceived that our troops were advancing, and had 
arrived at the ed<^e of a morass rather to the east of 
the Court-house- The enemy then advanced their 
horse, consisting of about three hundred, and about 


two hundred foot to cover them. Tlie horse then made 
a full charge on Colonel Butler's detachment, and 
seemed determined upon gaining their right flank, in 
order to throw themselves in betw^een us and our main 
body, which had halted at the morass. U})on Colonel 
Butler's obsen^ing this, he had formed the troops before 
I returned to him. The horse made a charge m force ; 
he broke their horse by a well-directed fire, which run 
amongst their foot, broke them, and carried them off 
likewise. I then ordered Colonel Butler to advance 
immediately in pursuit of them. We had not advanced 
above two hundred yards before they began to open 
three or four pieces of artillery upon us. The enemy 
at this time appeared to be inclining fast to our right, in 
order to gain a piece of high ground, and to the right 
of where I lay, and nearly m front of the Court-house. 
When the head of their column arrived on it they halted 
and formed, and so in succession as they came up. I sent 
off Major Byles to desire our troops that were in view, 
and in fi'ont of the morass, to advance. The enemy's 
troops that were then in view, and marching to the 
eminence, did not appear to exceed seventeen or eigh- 
teen hundred. Then our artilleiy began to answer 
theirs, from about one-half a mile in the rear of Butler's 
detachment, Avhen Major Byles returned, and informed 
me that the troops had been ordered to repass the 
morass, and they were then retiring over it. Upon this, 
I galloped up to the Marquis de la Fayette, who was 
in the rear of either Colonel Livingston's or Stewart's 
regiment ; I asked the Man^uis what he was going to do 
with the troops ; he said that he w-as ordered to cross 
the morass, and would form near the Court-house, from 
that to the woods. I again sent to General Lee, re- 
ciuestin^that the trooj)S might be brought up. Either 
Major Byles or Major Fishbourne returned, and in- 
formed me that the trooi)S were again ordered to retire 
from the Court-house, and that they were retiring. 
About the same time, one of General Lee's aids told me 
that it was not General Lee's intention to attack them 


in front, but he intended to take them, and was prepar- 
ing a detachment to throw upon their left, or words to 
that purport. I then crossed the ravine myself, and 
seeing General Scott's detachment beginning to cross, 
rode up Avith a view of forming them, but found the 
Colonel preparing to do it. As I got up, General Scott 
came up and tokl me he had directed the whole of his 
people to form there. I then went with General Scott 
to the Court-house. A morass rims up near the Court- 
house, in front of it, and continues a considerable dis- 
tance to the left of the Court-liouse in front. After 
General Scott and myself liad viewed the ground about 
the Court-house, I sent off one of my aids to General 
Lee to request him that the troops mi^ht again be re- 
turned to the place they had last left, Avliich was on the 
ravine, near the Court-house. That at this time the 
number of the enemy did not appear to be above two 
thousand, and about a mile distant in front, moving on 
to gain the liill before mentioned. A fire was kept up 
of cannon between us and the enemy at this time. 
Major Fishlx)urne returned and informed me that the 
troops were still retreating, and that General Lee said 
he would see me himself. This, was at least one hour 
from the time the charge had ])een made by the enemy's 
horse on Colonel Butler, who remained in the same 
position in the hollow way, advanced near three-quar- 
ters of a mile of the Court-liouse. After Major Fish- 
bourne returned, I perceived the enemy ])egin to move 
rapidly in a colunm towards the Courthouse. Upon 
waiting awhile with General Scott in this position,r I 
again sent Major Lenox and Major Fishbourne to Gen- 
eral Lee, requesting him at least to halt the troops to 
cover General Scott, and that tlie enemy were advanc- 
ing, and also sent off to order Colonel Butler to fall 
back, as he was in danger of being surrounded and 
taken. These gentlemen returned and informed me the 
troops were at a considerable distance, retiring, but 
eome apjx^ared to l)e fonning, and they ])elieved there 
would be no stand made yet awhile. Tlie troops then 


aj)peared near a mile in the rear, near a Mr. Wikoff's, 
where they formed, and where I afterwards formed 
them. General Scott and myself kept in the orchard 
near the village till the head of the enemy's colunm 
had passed through the village, and were thrown l)e- 
tween General Scott and our other troops. General 
Scott, liaving received some order, left me; Colonel 
Meade then came up, and we remained till the enemy 
had fairly got between us and all our other troo])S. 
Having a few horse with us, the enemy made a charge 
on us; we retired and fell in with the rear of our 
troops, who had formed a little in front of Mr. Wikoff's, 
which were Colonel Livingston's regiment, Colonel 
StcAvart's regiment, and a part of General Scott's own 
brigade, and two pieces of artillery. 1 then met with 
General Washington, who ordered me to make a stand 
Muth these troops, and disj)ute the ground as long as 
j>ossible, till he had time to form the army. 

Q. Did you receive any orders frimi General Lee to 
make an attack on the enemy the 28th of June if 

A. I did not; but every moment expected such 

Q. Did you receive any orders from General Lee to 
retreat from the enemy the 28th of June ? 

A. I did not. 

Q. What num})er of troops marched under the com- 
mand of General Lee towards the enemy the 28th of 
June ? 

A. In front, Colonel Butler, with two hundred. Col- 
onel Jackson, with an equal nund)er, Scott's own bri- 
gade, with a part of Woodford's, six hundred, with two 
})ieces of artillery, General Varnum's ap])eared about 
the same number, with two ])ieces of artillery, my own 
detachment was about one thousand, and two pieces of 
artillery, (ieneral Scott's detachment, fourteen hundred, 
and four pieces of artillery. General Maxwell's was one 
thousand, and two j)ieces of artillery; in all, five thou- 
sand, Avith twelve j)ieces of artillery, exclusive of the 


Q. What distance was it from the ])lace where the 
troops first retreated from to the i)lace where they 
formed ? 

A. I think al>out one-quarter of a mile. 

Q. What distance was it from this place to the next 
place where they formed ? 

A. From this place to the place where I found them, 
w^hich was a little in front of Mr. WikoiFs house, was, 
I think, abcmt a mile. 

Genei'al Lee's question. Were you in your messages 
that you sent me, as particular and as distinct with 
respect to the numbers, orders, or disorder of tlie enemy, 
as you are at present ? 

A. I think I was, from my anxiety to get up the 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect the orders 
Caj)tain Mercer carried to you when he went to you 
witli Major Lenox i 

A. The orders, I think, were to advance witli these ^ 
two re^cinients: and that it was the General's intention 
not to drive, but to take the enemy. ^, 

General Lee's question. I would be glad to know 
what could have prevented the enemy's cavaliy from 
turninii: the villa<;e of Freehold ? 

A. By advancing and driving them. 

General Lee's (juestion. Did you send Colonel 
Moriran orders to retreat i 

A. At the time our troops had all been drawn from 
the Court-liouse, and the head of the enemy's column 
near the centre of the village, a messenger arrived from 
Colonel Morgan, wli<:) said lie had been to seek for Gen- 
eral Lee or the commanding officer, and had not found 
him. I encpiired where Colonel Morgan was ; he said 
he was about two or three miles to tlie left. I told 
him that he saw our trooi)S were all drawn off ; tliat 
the enemy were advancing, and that Colonel Morgan 
should govern himself accordingly. 

General Lee's question to the Marquis de la Fayette. 
Did you not, while in the village of Freehold with 


me, express an appreliension that the enemy might turn 
our right flank ? 

A. As far as I remember, I told you that some 
gentlemen had mentioned some troops were going 
towards our right, and told you to take care of it ; but 
I did not say in what manner you should act. 

Question by the Court to General Wayne. While 
you Avere in front, did you receive any intelligence 
A\atli respect to the enemy's advancing in force ? Or 
did you make any discoveries of a body coming up to 
support tlie two thousand you liave mentioned to have 
been in front ? 

A. I received no intelligence; but, from my own 
observation, the enemy kept continually marching up, 
and forming successively as thev arrived. They had 
been much scattered while marcliing. They apj>eared 
to increase while I Avas there, from al)out six hundi-ed 
to two thousand, and were still advancing to the same 
position the others had formed on. 

General Lee's question. As Ave marched in one 
column until we divided in the forks of the road, do 
you think we could have biought up to action, even 
admitting the enemy to be only two thousand, an 
equal number in as short a time as they ? 

A. I believe the whole of your troops were formed 
either immediately in the rear of the ravine, or ad- 
vanced across it ; I know that about three thousand 
were across and formed, and could have been brought 
up in time. 

Q. When you got up to Wikoifs house, Avas General 
Lee there with the troops that \A^ere formed ? 

A. He came up to me Avhile I Avas forming there 
the troops that wei*e retreating to the j)lace Avhere the 
others Avere forming, and he enipiired Avliy these troops 
Avere formed there, under the enemy's cannon, and 
exposed to the enemy's cavalry. 1 told him it Avas 
General Washington's positive ord(a- to make a stand 
there, and defend that post as long as possible*, till he 
could form the troops. General Lee replied, he had 
nothing more to say. 


General Foreman beino: sworn : 

Q. Were you with the troops under the command of 
General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. I was, by order of His Excellency General Wash- 

Q. Did the troops under the command of General 
Lee attack the enemy the 28th of June ? 

A. The first attack that I saw made, was by the/ 
enemy's cavalry, either on the troops under Colonel' 
Butler, or a few of our horse that were on his right ; 
which cavalry were repulsed by the troops under the 
command of Colonel Butler. 

Q. Did the troops under the conunand of General 
Lee retreat before the enemy on the 28th of June ? 

A. Shortly after tlie enemy's horse had charged 
Colonel Butler's detachment, I rode forward to dis- 
cover the number and situation of the enemy, havin^f, 
from every circumstance, conceived that only their 
rear-guard had been left at Freehold to keep a shew, 
and prevent our troops advancing. From their appear- 
ance 1 judged their number not to exceed one thousand. 
I then rode in quest of General Lee, informed him of 
their situation and their supposed number ; at the same 
time informed the General that I conceived they were 
considerably in the rear of the column, and offered to 
take a detachment, and, by marching a road upon our 
left, to double their right flank. General Lee's answei* 
was, I know my business ; at the same time he Avas 
ordering a body of troops to march into a wood on the 
left of the cohunn, Avhich troops, I was informed, was 
a part of the Marquis's detachment. I then left (yen- 
eral Lee. Some short time after I ol)served the Gen- 
eral riding towards the front, and, a few minutes after- 
wards, I saw the Marquis de la Fayette direct Colonel 
Livingston's and Colonel Stewart's regiment to marclt 
towai'ds the enemy's left ; and I was infonned, by the 
Marquis, that he was directed by General Lee to gain 
the enemy's left flank. In this time there was a can- 


nonaile from l)otli paiiies, but principally from the 
enemy. The Marquis did not gain the enemy's left 
. flank ;^ I sup[)osed, it was oceasicmed by a retreat 
A that haJT been ordered to the village, I presume by 
General Lee, as he Avas pi'esent and did not contra- 
dict i t77 The troops just ])egan to form in tlie rear of 
the vinao:e, their left extendins: to a Avood to the north- 
ward, the riglit to tlie southward ; Jiefore the line was 
formed, the troops retreated, and, I was informed l)y 
the Marcjuis, by order of General 1-ee. There af)pear- 
ed, ])y this time, much confusion and irregularity to 
have got in among the troops. The troo})s upon the 
left of tlie village were retreating in line, those on the 
right in column. I enquired of several officers where 
they wei'e retreating to. They said to the woods. 
On enquiring of them what woods, they said they 
could not tell whether it was the wood in front or 
on the right or left. The troo})S soon after this were 
formed into columns. There came up an officer of the 
horse, and told me that three regiments were to throw 
themselves into a wood on the right; I sent him 
with this order to General Maxwell, and afterwards 
])art of General Maxwell's troops went into the wood. 
During the retreat across Mr. Ray's field, I was pres- 
\ent, and saw General Lee ride up to the trooj)s as 
Ithey were retii'ing, and order the troops to retreat with 
imore haste. 

Q. llow far was the enemy from General Lee's 
trooj)s when he ordered them to retreat with more 

A. About half a mile in rear of his troo])s. 

Q. Were General Lee's troops at that time in order 
or disorder? 

A. The body of the trooj)S seemed to be confused 
and in disorder. 

General Lee's question. Were you ever, in this coun- 
try, in a retrograde man<euvre or retreat from a body 
of troops in the face of the enemy I 

A. Yes. 



General Lee's question. Was it conducted Avith more 
or less disorder than mine was ? 

A. I have seen retreats with more confusion and 
some with less. 

General Lee's question. Where did you see a re- 
treat with less confusion in the face of the enemy ? 

A. -At the White Plains. I went off Avith a j)art of 
the army in the evening, and saw no confusion. 

Bkjgadiek-Geneiial Scott being sAvorn: 

Q. Were you with the trooj)s that marched under 
the connnand of General Lee the 28th of June towards 
the enemy ? 

A. I was. 

Q. Did the troops under the command of Genei'al 
Lee make any attack on the enemy the 28th of June ? 

A. About five o'clock in tlie mornins: of the 28th of 
June, I had orders to put my detachment in motion 
immediately, and follow the rear of General Maxwell's 
brigade, passed thi'ough English-Town, where Ave were 
ordered to halt, and then received an order from one 
of General Lee's aids, to march in the rear of General 
Wayne's detachment. About this time there Avas a halt 
for al)Out one hour. When Ave marched on near the 
Meeting-house, Avhere tliere Avas a second halt made ; 
Ave Avere again ordered to march on ; a]>()ut a mile 
beyond the Meeting-house Ave Avere again halted some 
short time, Avhen several pieces of cannon Avere fired, 
and some small anus in front of the colunin, about 
Avhich time Ave Avere ordei'ed on, and soon took a road lead- 
ing us immediately to the left. After marcliing near 
one-half a mile, Ave turned an old road to our right, 
Avhich brought us into a field to the left of some of our 
troops that were foi*med, Avhere there Avas a ])retty 
brisk fire of cannon on both sides. ' I receivinii: no 
orders more than these, to folloAv General Wayne s de- 
tachment, they Avheeled to the ri^ht, and moA^ed on in 
a line Avith those troops I saAV formed ; before I had 


got far enough to wheel up my detachment, I found 
the whole of the troops upon my right retreating, as I 
supposed to repass tne morass, which they were then 
about to do. After reconnoitering the enemy, and 
reviewing the ground that my detachment stood on, I 
thought proper to repass the morass and take place in 
a wood with the morass in my front. About this time 
I sent my artillery immediately back the road I came, 
into the field, finding it impossiWe for them to act on 
the ground I had taken, or even to get to it. I then 
fell in with General Wayne, rode with him from there 
up to the little village at the Court-house, and enquired 
of him the occasion of the retreat ; he said he could not 
tell, but he had sent one of his young gentlemen to 
desire General Lee to send the troops l)ack, for there 
was nothinof to fear. I continued with him until the 
ii^eiitlenian returned ; he brou^i^lit no other answer but 
that General Lee would see General Wayne himself. 
, General Wayne sent to General Lee a second time, 
desiring him at least to halt, if he did not chuse to 
return the troops, to favour my retreat, that my detach- 
ment was in a good deal of danger of being cut off. 
We c<mtinued on the ground near the viHage until the 
enemy had passed my right, and ahnost cut off the 
retreat of my troops to our otlier trooj)s; during all 
this time I received no orders from any j)erson what- 
ever; uj)on which I thought proj^er to order off the 
detachment, by filing off by the left of ])attalions, and 
marching through the wood, rathei- in the rear of the 
enemy's advance guard, near a mile, when I fell into 
the road heading to the Meeting-house, uj)on Avhicli I 
ordered a battalion to form, in oi-der to cover our re- 
treat. At this time I heard a fire begin u])on our 
right ; I made no doubt there was a stand made there 
also, and I ordered Colonel Parker to go ])ack and to 
move the l^attalion forward to join the detaohmeut, and 
that there was a cover formed uj)on our riglit ; ])ut he 
was prevented delivering my orders by the front ,of a 
column of the enemy, between the rear of my detach- 



ment and the battalion formed to cover it, which bat- 
talion did not join my detachment afterwards that day. 
I moved on with my detachment to the hill in front of 
the meeting-house, where I met with Lord Stirling, who 
told me we were to form there. 

General Lee's question. By whose orders did you 
leave the wood you were posted in ? 

A. I received no orders either to take post there or 
to leave it. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect the pre- 
cise position you were in, with respect to the enemy, 
when you thought you were in danger of being inter- 
cepted ? 

A. I was on the west side of the morass, in a wood 
about half-a-mile to the left of the Coiu'thouse ; the 
enemy's front was in or near the village, passing to my 
right almost in my rear. 

Q. Could you estimate the number of the enemy at 
that time ? 

A. I do not think there were more than twenty-five i 
hundred, the horse included. 

Q. Did you see the retreat of the rest of our troops ? 

A. Part of the rear. 

Q. Did the part you saw appear to be in order or 
confusion ? 

A, They aj)peared to be in confusion ; they were 
running and the horses trotting with the field pieces. 

General Lee's question. Did it appear to you that 
the men were running away, or were only hastening their 
steps to take a more advantageous post in their rear ? 

A. I expected they were about to repass the morass, 
in order to take post on the western side ; I moved my 
detachment immediately, in order to foiin the line with 
them, but when I got there I found they had not 
formed agreeable to my expectations, but had left that 
ground, and were entirely out of my sight. 

The Court adjourns to the house of Isaac Arnot, in 
Morris-Town, 'till Wednesday next, at eight o'clock. 



The Court met at Morris-Town, and adjourns to 
Paramus 'till Friday next.* 

FRIDAY, July 10. 

Not a sufficient number of members attending at 
Paramus, the members present adjourn till to-morrow 
at eight o'clock. 

JULY 11. 

The Court met at Paramus. 
Major Lenox being sworn : 

Q. Did you caiTy any message from Brigadier-Gene- 
ral Wayne to General Lee the 28th of June \ 

A. I carried one message to General Lee fi'oni Gene- 
ral Wayne. 

Q. What was it ? 

A. I went to inform him that the enemy had halted, 
and, by their appearance, seemed disposed for action. 
In case of General Wayne's attempting tlieni, lie re- 
quested General Lee would come up to support Iiim. 

Q. Did you receive any answer from General Lee, at 
that time, for General W ayne ? 

A. General Lee said it was a customary mancieuvre 

[* Gek. Washington to Major-General Lord Stirling and the 
Members of the General Court-Martial for the Trial of 
Major-General Lee. 

7 July, 1778. 

On further consideration of the adjournment of the Court-martial to 
Morristown, it appears to me, that tlie matter is liable to many great and 
almost insuperable objections. Should the court remain there, it would l)e 
necessary for more officers to be drawn directly from the army, than could 
be prudently spared ; and the frequent occasions there will l^e of calling 
on the same witnesses on several, and often on the same points in question, 
would cause such a detention of them as might be injurious. From these 
circumstances I am induced to change the place of the court's sitting, and 
to request that they will adjourn from Morristown to Paramus Church, 
which will be immediately in the route of the anny. The court will be 
]>leased to notify General Lee and the witnesses of the removal, in such a 
way as they shall deem most pro])er. I am, &;<^ 

G** Washington.] 


with retreating troops, and that he was corning up, or 
words to that effect. 

Q. Were the enemy's troops advancing or retreating 
when they halted i 

A. They had retired, and had advanced about two 
or three hundred yards afterwards. 

Q. How did the enemy's troops appear to be situ- 
ated ? 

A. About a quarter of a mile in front of the Court- 
house, a little l)elow a hill ; they had formed there, and 
others were coming up reinforcing them. 

Q. Did General Lee's troops come up ? 

A. Not that I saw, except troops that I took for 
General Scott's brigade, that had advanced across the 
morass, which was after the enemy's horse had made a 
charge on Colonel Butler's regiment. 

Q. Were General Lee's troops put in motion upon 
your delivering General Wayne's message to him ? 

A. I did not see them put in motion. I rode off 
immediately upon receiving the answer for General 

Q. Could you form any judgment of the numl)er of 
the enemy, when you went with the message from 
General Wayne to General Lee i 

A. I imagine their number did not exceed one thou- 
sand foot, and between two and three hundred horse. 
When I returned they were considerably reinforced, 
and more coming up. 

General Lee's (juestion. Did I not explain to you 
what my intentions were, and in what manner General 
Wayne was to proceed ? 

A. No. 

General Lee's question. Were you in such a situa* 
tiou that if the troops were put in motion you could 
have seen them ? 

A. You might have filed off in the woods to the 
left, which would have put it out of my power, as I 
was advanced in front in the open field with General 


Q. Do you mean, tliat if General Lee had filed off 
liis troops in the woods to the left, that movement 
would have put it out of your power to have seen 
them ? 

A. Yes. 

Colonel Scilly [Cilley] being sw^orn : 

Q. Did you march with the troops under the com- 
mand of General Lee, when they advanced towards the 
enemy the 28th of June ? 

A. I was in the detachment under the command of 
Brigadier-General Scott. 

Q. Did these troops make an attack on the enemy 
the 28th of June ? 

A. We marched down till w^e came near Monmouth 
Court-house ; I then heard a scattering fire of musquetry, 
wnth some field pieces, but knew not whether from our 
troops or the enemy. We still advanced through a 
wood until we came to an open field, which opened to 
the Couit-house. I saw" the trooj)s in front of me form 
the line and move forward towards the Court-house. 
As soon as we marched out of the wood into the field 
to get room, we wei*e ordered to form by General Scott ; 
but immediately ordered to w^lieel by platoons, and to 
advance after the troops that were advancing rather to 
the right of the Coui-t-house ; there w^e were ordered 
to halt ; immediately on our halting, the trooj)s on our 
right marched on, and by wheeling to the light, passed 
a morass. Upon that. General Scott ordered his de- 
tachment to march from the right of battalions to cross 
a morass in their rear, and to form in a skirt of wood ; 
we formed there. We lay there some time. The troops 
on our right were all gone out of sight, having retreated 
towards English-Town. The enemy, at this time, w^ere 
retiring as far as I could see ; they retired about two 
or three hundred yards, and at length made a halt, and 
in a few minutes marched back towards the Court- 
house. General Scott being absent, and the detach- 
ment laying there about half an hour, when the enemy 


marched hy, having their cavahy on their right flank 
and in their front until they got into tlie village near 
the Court-house, then they filed off to their left and 
our right, and the column came down from the road in 
the front of General Scott's detachment. I then sent 
Captain Croghan and Captain Kelly in pursuit of 
General Scott, to inform him that the enemy were 
coming down in two columns, as I suppose, to attack 
us. He sent back Kelly and Croghan to order me to 
retreat by the left of })attalions in columns. We re- 
treated tlirough a wood to where the stand was made, 
w^here I saw Lord Stirling, who ordered me to form, 
which I did. 

Q. How were the enemy's troops situated when you 
first came in sight of them ? 

A. They appeared to be in confusion. 

Q. How great was their number i 

A. When I first saw them they did not appear to be 
above eight hundred ; but before I w^ent back I think 
al)out two thousand or twenty-five hundred appeared 
in sight. 

Q. Do you know whether any measures w^ere taken 
by General Lee towards attacking the enemy ? 

A. I do not. 

Q. Did you take any particular notice of the troops 
that were m advance of you when they retreated ? 

A. They retreated fast ; their rear went off in a trot. 

Q. What did you suj^pose at the time occasioned 
them to retreat in that manner i 

A. I supposed they must have seen something that 
I did not see ; I could see nothing at that time which 
could occasion them to go off in that manner. 

Q. Do you know who inunediately commanded these 
troops ? 

A. I do not. 

Q. Did you see or hear of any other firing than the 
scattering firing w^hen you first came up ? 

A. There was a few cannon-shot fired, after 1 got u^) 
on both sides. 
Vol. m.— 3 


Colonel Grayson being sNvorn : 

Q. Did you march with the troops under the com- 
mand of General Lee, towards the enemy, the 28th of 
June ? 

A. About three o'clock in the morning, I received an 
order signed by an Aid-de-Camp of Major-General 
Lee, piu'porting that General Scott's and General Var- 
num's l^rigades should get in readiness immediately to 
march towards the enemy with their packs, and to give 
notice Avhen they were ready. Shortly after this, and 
before they were ready to march, I received another 
order, desiring that the troops might be marched into 
Englisli-Town, where General Lee would be ready to 
receive them. As soon as we got to English-Town I 
waited on General Lee, who informed me I was to ad- 
vance toAvards the enemy, but to halt at the distance of 
about three miles from them, and to send repeated 
intelligence of their movements. At the same time one 
of General Lee's Aicles-deCamp j^ut into my hands a 
written paper from General Washington to General 
Lee, desiring him to send out about six or eight hun- 
dred men to act as a body of observation, and to give 
frequent information of the enemy's movements, and to 
attack them in case they began to march. The next 
line, I think, was, that tlie time and opportunity was 
left to the commander of the party, i applied for a 
guide ; was informed by General Lee that some light- 
horse were to go with me ; General Lee immediately 
sent Major Edwards to j)rocure a guide, wlio soon re- 
turned without one, and informed Genei-al Lee they had 
disa})peared ; at which General Lee seemed disturbed, 
and sent the Major off again. Some time after this. 
General Foreman furnished a guide. I began my 
march with General Scott's and General Varnum's brig- 
ades towards the enemy from English-Town. Some dis- 
tance from £ni;lish-Town, I think a})out two and a half 
milCvS, General Lee sent word to march slow, and shortly 
afterwards to advance. We proceeded to a bridge in 


the rear of the hill where the stand was made, where 
w-e saw a firing, and whei*e we saw a party of militia 
retreating from the enemy, keeping up an irregular 
retreating fire. General Dickinson sent to me for a 
regiment to cover the retreat of the militia, which I 
W' ent vnth ; and, on seeing Colonel Oswald, we agreed 
that a field-piece should be advanced also. Uix)n our 
advancing to the top of the hill, we discovei'ed that the 
enemy w^ere gone off ; upon which, w^e drew up nearly 
on the place where the stand was made, and very shortly 
after. General Lee came, (this was early in the morn- 
ing,) who told me that the other parts (as I under- 
stood), Scott's and Varnum's brigades, should come 
forward. Before General Lee came up, in the conver- 
sation I had with General Dickinson, he seemed 
strongly impressed with an idea that the enemy would 
send round a column on our right, and another to the 
left, w^hich would })ut the continental troops in danger, 
and they had better be withdrawn, and he would scuffle 
it out with them with the militia. I heard General 
Dickinson maintain nearly the same conversation with 
General Lee as with me, with some warmth ; General 
Lee went to reconnoiter the enemy; and, upon his 
return, part of General Scott's l)rigade was advanced 
by General Wayne, who posted them upon the left of 
the road that leads to the Court-house. The intelli- 
gence I undei'stood General Lee received was, that a 
column was advancing up that road ; (I did not hear 
General Lee mention that a column was advancing up 
the road.) We remained there for some time, when 1 
received orders that the column was not advancing, and 
we might come off, which was immediately contra- 
dicted, and we were ordered to stay on the gi*ound, 
which we did, until the rest of the troops came up, on 
their march to the Court-house. When the brigade 
joined again. Colonel Jackson's regiment was ordered 
into our real". We continued our march with the other 
troops until sve got to a hill on this side the inoi*ass, 
which is contiguous to the Court-liouse, where we made 


a halt, and I o])served General Lee reconnoitering the 
enemy, and I rode myself a small distance, when I saw 
their horse, but not their infantry. Tlieir horse ap- 
peared to be in confusion, and as they fronted us were 
to the left of Freehold. One regiment of Scott's bri- 
gade w^as foiTued upon the left of the road, and the 
other regiment marched towards the Court-house. I 
followed it and found it posted behind a fence nearly 
o])posite to the Court-house. I asked the commanding 
officer what w^ere his orders ? And asked him if his 
order's were to stay there ? He told me they Avere. I 
rode by the fence and a shoi't distance into the plain, 
where I saw the enemy distinctly drawm up on the 
right of the Court-house ; their number appeared to be 
five or six hundred infantry, with a body of horse. I 
turned back, and finding that other bodies of our troops 
were in motion, which they were to oiu* left, and the 
enemy beginning to file off to their right, I asked again 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Parke, if the orders were to stay 
there ? He told me thev were. However, I took 
upon myself to order them on with our other troops, 
who were filing off to the left, as if to turn the 
enemy's right. Shortly aftei* our being in motion, 
I saw General Lee and Majoi* Mercer ; Major Mercer 
accosted me with some warmth, and asked me why 
I was not in the rear of General Wayne i I told 
him I had no orders to l)e there ; he said orders were 
given to Lieutenant-Colonel Parke ; I told him when 
he gave me orders he might depend on their l)eing 
executed. We proceeded, and were joined l)y the 
other regiment and crossed a morass, where I saw a 
body of troops that were halted, and I believe were 
General Varnum's brigade, and some other ti'oo})s. As 
soon as we had got cleverly halted on the other side of 
the morass, on the edge of an orchanl, we o])served a 
body of the enemy's light-horse advancing towards us 
with great rapidity, some of oui* horse and some horse- 
men retiring before them. When they came within 
musket shot they were repulsed by a tire from part of 


the left of General Scott's brigade. General Lee shortly 
after this came up. General Scott's brigade advanced 
in order to get into the rear of General Wayne, who, I 
understood, was in a wood some distance in our front. 
We continued our march until we ijot near to the eds:e 
of the wood, when a message came by a gentleman, 
who informed me that lie Avas from General Wayne, 
desiring me not to enter the wood, but to keep my 
ground ; I think he said that the enemy were I'etreat- 
ing by their riglit. There were no troops then that I 
saw, either upon my right or left. Colonel Jackson's 
regiment was in our rear in a morass. I then saw the 
enemy drawn u[) in order of battle, in much greater 
numbers than before, and they cannonaded us from 
two or three pieces of cannon. I hallooed to Colonel 
Jackson to come and form uj)on the top of the hill 
upon my left, who asked me if I had any artillery, I 
told him I had not ; Colonel Jackson did not come up. 
Soon after thivS, Majoi* Mercer came from General Lee, 
who expressed his surprize tlnit 1 was not in the real* of 
General Wayne as ordered; I told them I Avas ad- 
vancing as fast as possi])le, but had contrary orders 
from General Wayne. Mr. Mercer said he was the 
pro])er person through whom orders should ])e given. 
About this time I saw Colonel Jackson's regiment 
retreating, and Major Mercer told me to go off in the 
rear of Colonel Jackson's regiment the way I had come. 
AVe retreated or went back, recrossed the morass, where 
General Scott's detachment was halted in a wood, where 
we halted also. The enemy at this time were advancing 
towards the Court-house. I went into the plain with 
the Brigade-Major to view the enemy, and saAV them 
advancing in force. Upon my return I found the Avhole 
of the troops that had retreated with me had marched. 
We continued our rout 'till we come near a fence in the 
front of Hart's house, when Major Mercer formed the 
regiment to oppose a body of light-horse, as it ai)peared 
to me, (the other regiment was l^efore detached to cover 
the two pieces of artillery that had been engaged near 


the Court-house,) I thought it might be fonned to 
moi'e advantage behind the fence, and took the liberty 
to do it ; after which I did not see General Lee or any 
of his Aid-de-Camps, or receive any orders from him or 
them that day. 

Q. What was the situation of the enemy when you 
first discovered them? 

A. When I first discovered them I saw only a body 
of horse, and several persons riding befoi*e, who api)ear- 
ed to be reconnoitering or putting them into better 

Q. How were the enemy situated when you first dis- 
covered their infantry ? 

A. In excellent order, with their light infantry ad- 
vanced in their front. 

Q. What were theii* numbers ? 

A. As near as I can guess al)out five or six hundred 
infantry, with a large body of horse. 

.^Q. Did you leceive any orders fi'om General Lee to 
attack the enemy ? 

A. Immediately after the enemy had retreated from 
the Court-house 1 fell in with General Lee, who men- 
tioned to me with some degree of animation, to kee]j in 
the edge of a wood, and to attack them in small bodies, 
and by God he would take them all. 

Q. When you saw the enemy drawn up in order of 
battle, how were they posted ? 

A. They were drawn up in a line, with the cavalry 
on their flanks ; the ground apj)eared to l)e level. 

Q. Could you form any judgment of their numbers ? 

A. 1 could not. 

Q. When you were ordered to go off by Major 
Mercer, did he mention any place you should retreat 

A. No. 

Q. Did he desire you to go off in haste ? 

A. No. 

Q. When you were ordered to go off by Major 
Mercer, were any troops ordered as a covering party ? 


A. No. 

Q. Were you ordered to retreat in any particular 
manner ? 

A. No. 

Q. How far did you retreat before you made tlie 
stand ? 

A. First stopped where General Scott's detachment 
was posted, and then retreated to the fence near Hart's 
house ; I think the distance from the place we retreated 
from to Mr. Hart's, is near two miles. 

Q. When our troops retreated, did they retreat in 
order or disorder ? 

A. I observed no troops but those immediately under 
my command, wliich came off in good order, as did 
Colonel Jackson's regiment that was in front. 

Q. Did the ground that you retreated over appear 
to })e favorable to make a stand on ? 

A Fi'om the idea I have of it, which is not a very 
accurate one, I think it was ; to me it appears now, 
there was a j)iece of groimd immediately on this side 
the Court-house, that has a wood upon each flank, and 
a morass in front. 

Q. How long did you remain in the front of the 
fence near Mr. Hart's house after Major Mercer had 
formed the men there ? 

A. A very short time. 

Q. What occasioned you to remove from thence ? 

A. They were ordered off, I suppose, by some Aid- 
de-Camp, to form in a wood near the road, not far dis- 
tant from where they were formed in the morning by 
General Wayne. 

General Lee's question. Do you think it possible 
for an oflicer in the line, who only sees partially, to be 
a judge of the ground proper for each party to make a 
halt on ? 

A. He has not so good an opportunity of knowing 
the ground as he whose business it is to investigate it 
by reconnoitering. 


CoLOXEL Stewart being sworn : 

Q. Did you march with the troo]>s under the command 
of General Lee towards the enemy on the 28th of June ? 

A. I marclied in the detachment under the command 
of General Wayne, which I understood was under the 
command of General Lee. 

Q. Did these troops attack the enemy on the 2Sth of 
June i 

A. Not to my knowledge. 

Q. Did these troops retreat from the enemy the 28th 
of June i 

A. They did. 

Q. By whose or<lers ? 

A. On General Wayne's detachment adyancini^ out 
of the woods across the ]>lain, about three-quarters of a 
mile in advance of Moimiouth Court-house, Colonel 
Lawrence came up to me at the head of my detach- 
ment, informing me that the enemy were endeavoring 
to gain our right flank ; the Marcpiis and Colonel Law- 
rence were botli in company at that time, and desii'ed 
I would push my detachment towards the right. I 
mdrched on till I ^ot nearly in a line in front of the 
Court-house. A cannonading: had be^n when I came 
out of the woods, and had been kept up during the time 
I marched across the j)lain. Colonel Lawrence came 
uji and infoiTned me it was found necessary we should 
retire to the village, and ordered me to retire to that 
jilace. On my arrival at the village, he ordered me to 
lorm in an orchard to the right of the town. I had 
not been formed in that ])lace above five minutes, before 
an order came from Major Ogden, who said he came 
from Genei'al Lee, to retire to a ])iece of wood farther 
in the rear. On my march to these woods, I fell in 
with General Lee and several other gentlemen, and not 
understanding which wood Major Ogden meant, I 
asked General Lee which wood I should take the men 
to. General Lee, seeing the men much fatigued, said, 
take them to any place to save their lives, pointing to 


an orchard in front. After remaining a sliort time 
there, Major Edwards, one of General Lee's Aid-de- 
Camps, ordered me to a piece of woods farther on 
towards the morass, the nV)rass being in the rear of the 
ground I was then on. On my march to this place, 
the enemy's horse appeared in sight, and j)retty near ; 
General Lee rode up, and ordered me to form my men 
in order to oppose them. Before they came quite up 
to w^here my regiment w^as formed, tliey made a lialt, 
and returned towards tlie main body, the head of which 
was advancino^ out of the villai^e. Durinsr the advance 
of the horse, I asked General Lee Avhether it was not 
j)roper for me to advance to a fence whicli avus about 
fifty yards in front ; he answered me he intended to 
l>ring a regiment tliere, that I should cover tlieir re 
ti'eat, and that one should be in the rear to cover mine. 
I was again ordered to pursue the route to the piece of 
woods in tlie rear. Tlie regiment in fi'ont of me did 
retire, by which means I Avas left with my single regi- 
^ ment. Tlie enemy had come up pretty near to me 
when I saw the Marquis de la Fayette, and demanded 
to know Avliat I should do ; his answer av as, he saw no 
necessity for my having my regiment cut to j)ieces, and he 
thought I had much l>etter retire after the other troops. 
On my repassing the marsh, just as I had got over it, 
His Excellency came uj) and ordered me to form my 

Q. What was the situation of your detachment Avhen 
you came near the enemy ? 

A. We w^ere marchins: in column, seven or eis^ht men 
m front. 

Q. How near Avere the enemy to you w^hen you first 
began to retreat ? 

A. I do not think, from my particular detachment, 
they were above six hundred yards. 

Q. How^ strong did they appear to be ? 

A. I did not look upon them to be more than six 
hundred infantry, besides the horse, which appeared to 
be pretty numerous. 


Q. Were they aclv^ancing towards you ? 

A. Thev had halted. 

Q. How large a body of our men w^as there, that 
could be opposed to the enemy ? 

A. Tliere were three detachments posted w^here I 
was, consisting of about eight hundred men. 

Q. Did you receive any fire from the enemy before 
you retreated ? 

A. None but from their artillery ; one man of mine 
had his leg broken. 

General Lee's question. Did I not appear in the 
whole course of the day tranquil ; and did I not give 
my orders disthict and clear? 

A. When I liad an opportunity of seeing you, you 
appeared as usual, w-ithout being disturbed. 

General Lee's question. Did you not conceive, when 
I ordered you to take your men to some ])lace to save 
their lives, ])ointing to an orcliard in front, that it was 
done that you might take them to some place to shade 
them from the heat of the weather ? 

A. I understood it that way. 

The Court adjourns till eiglit o'clock to-morrow. 

JULY 12th. 
The Court met according to adjournment. 
Colonel Hiciiard Butler being sworn : 

Q. Did you march w^ith the troops under the com- 
mand of General Lee towards the enemy the 28th of 
June ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did these troops attack the enemy the 28th of 
June ? 

A. I moved on from English -Town witli about two 
hundred ti'oops under my immediate command. I re- 
ceived orders to move on witli my battalion, and orders 
came at the same time to Colonel Jackson to move to 
the front. Both the 1)attalions were a considerable 


distance back in the line of march, but on receiving the 
order I gave ordei's for my battalion to move on, and 
rode forward to where General Lee was, and General 
Wayne ; I informed General Wayne that my battalion 
was pretty far back, but that I had ordered them on ; 
General Wayne mentioned it to General Lee, who said 
it was immaterial which battalion, and ordered General 
Wayne to take the two nearest battalions, and mov^e 
them forward. Before the troops ari-ived a body of 
our troops had crossed a causeway, and was returning 
down towards the causeway from the top of the rising 
ground, at w^hich time the battalions that had been 
first ordered came up to the causeway, and agreeable to 
the first order moved on to the front of tiie whole ; 
General Wayne then ordered me to move on with my 
battalion to take the front, and to attack the enemy 
wherever I should come across them; he told me it 
w^as necessary, as it w^as woody ground, to extend a 
front, and to march the men in such a manner as I could 
form them immediately in case of an attack ; I accord- 
ingly ordered a sergeant and party, as an advance 
party, a small party upon each of the flanks, and the 
battalion to inarch from the right of platoons by files, 
with a proper wheeling distance betw^een each other, to 
form. After this disposition was made. General Lee 
came up and ordei'ed the battalion to be formed again, 
and marched in column from the centre by files ; moved 
on a small distance in this manner, and then was left at 
my own discretion to form them as I thought proper. 
I then ordered the left from the centre to wheel on, and 
march by the right of platoons by files, the right by 
files as ))efore. As General Lee desired I should keep 
the troops in the woods as much secreted as I could, so 
that the enemy should not perceive our approach, as 
there was clear gi-ound on our right, and woods on our 
left, in that order I moved on 'till I passed that clear 
ground, and had room to form the whole in proper 
front. General Wayne then ordered me to move on 
and attack the enemy. I accordingly w^ent forward, 


and received a small scattering fire from some troops 
tliat I took to ))e the Queen's rangers, from along a 
fenc(^ upon my right ; immediately I wheeled up the 
men, ordered them to reserve their fire and push on. A 
few of them fired. On our aj)proach they left this 
ground, and I moved on to within sixty yards of an 
orchard, to the left of the road leading to Monmouth 
Court-house,and then filed off to the left upon the enemy's 
left flank, as I saw them moving off. I then sent word 
to General Wayne, hy Major Byles, that the enemy 
were moving off ; on which General Wayne innnediately 
came u]), and ordered me to take post in a small point 
of wood, lode off fi'om me and told me he would for- 
ward up more trooj)s. I there saw a small body of 
British troops move off i-etiring, and the artillery 
wagons after them. Tlie British horse moved off in 
regular order on the left of the rear of the artillery. A 
party of infantry appeai'ed to me on the left flank, and 
appeared to go on as a flanking party. After the 
horse, a body of foot went off in colunms in regular 
order, and kept their flanking paiiy out in the same 
manner. I then sent word by Major Byles to General 
Wayne or. General Lee, informing them in what man- 
ner the British troops wei*e moving off, and that, in my 
opinion, if we had a mind to strike the enemy, that was 
the time to improve an advantage, as they were all in 
motion moving off. I then moved my ])arty across a 
small morass, that they might not be in the Avay of 
other troops as they came up. When I got over the 
morass. General Wayne joine<l nje, and ordered me to 
move on upon the enemy's left flank. I moved on 
about one-quarter of a mile, when the enemy made a 
halt at a small piece of wood, and their horse formed 
and faced about, and made a charge u])on my i)ai*ty ; 
we gave them a fire, they broke, and in their retreat 
from us l)roke throuijh their own foot and disordered 
them ; they then brought two oi* three j)ieces of cannon 
to bear upim us. General Wayne ordered me to move 
the i)arty down into a small hollow, to cover them from 


the fire of tlie artillery, and from thence to move tlieni 
to a small piece of wood ; he then left me and sent 
back Major Byles to me, ordering me to remain there 
until further orders. Our artillery then ))egan to play 
pretty smartly amongst the enemy and caused consider- 
able disorder amongst them. I remained in that con- 
dition for about ten minutes or one-quarter of an hour, 
before the enemy began to mov-e towards the Court- 
house again ; they moved on very slow, and, seemingly, 
very regular ; continued so for a])out an half hour or 
more, making small halts and moving on, in which time 
there was a considerable cannonade on l)oth sides, and 
some musquetry on my nght, which I conceived was 
principally from our people. The enemy still continued 
moving on, and I saw a body of troops coming on that 
I had not seen before, in very regulai' order fi-om what 
had been in the front of those who had moved off be- 
fore ; troops that had marched and were coming back 
again. The troops I first saw, appeared to be the rear 
guard of the whole army, and the other body I took to 
be the rear of the main body. I remained still l^etter 
than a quarter of an hour, 'till the troops I have men- 
tioned before seemed to have gained ground on our 
people ; the fire going from me on my right. I then 
thought it was time to provide for the safety of my 
party, the enemy being on my right in front, and on 
my left, a large morass in ray rear. I called the two 
Field Officers and asked them their opinion respecting 
our moving from that ground ; they gave it as their 
opinion that we ought ; we then retreated through the 
morass that was in our rear, and came by the way of 
Furnian's mill, halted a small time to refresh the men. 
I ordered Major Ledyard to ride up towards the road 
we had advanced upon, to see where our people were, 
that we might join them again. He came back and 
informed me the enemy were moving on upon the ])lain 
ground, and it appeared to him our people had moved 
back. I then marched my party to one Craig's house, 
upon the left of our army, and saw a body of troops 


anil i-eeeived a small scattering fii-e from some ] 
that I took to lie the Queen's rangers, from ul 
feuoe upon my right ; immediately I wheeled t_ 
men, onlerL^l them to reserve their fire and push on. 
few of them fired. On our a))proach they li'ft 1 
ground, and I moved on to within sixty yanls of ij 
orchard, to the left of the road leading to Moiinioiith ' 
Court -house,and then filed off to the left upon theeiieniyV 
left fiank, as I saw theiu moving off. I then seut word , 
to General Wayne, Iiy Major liyles, that the enemy 
were moving off; on which (ieiieral Wayne immediately 
came uji, and ordere<l me to take post in a small point 
of wood, rode off fi'om me and tohl me he would for- 
ward up more troops. I there hhw a small liodv of 
British trooi>s move off i-etiring, and the artillery 
wagons after them. The British hoise moved off in 
regular onler on the left of the rear of the artillery. A 
party of infantry !ip])eai'ed to me on the left flank, and 
a])peaied to go on as a flanking ])arty. Aftt'r the 
h<)rse, a Iiody of foot weut off in columns in regular 
order, and kept their flanking party out in tlie same 
manner, I then sent word by filajor Byles to Genei-al 
Wayne or. General Lee, informing them in what man- 
ner the Britislt ti-oops were moving off, and that, in my 
opinion, if we had a mind to strike the enemy, that was 
the time to impi'ove an advantage, as they \\ei'e all in 
motion moving off. I then moved my party across a 
small morals, that they might not be in tlie way of 
other troop.H as they came up. When I got over the 
morass, General Wayne joined me, aud onlered me to 
move on upon the enemy's left flank. I moved on 
about one-ipiiirter of a mile, when the enemy nuide a 
halt at a small jiiece of wood, and their hoi'se formed 
and faced about, and made a charge upon my i>art3- ; 
■we gave them a fire, they broke, aud m their retreat 
from us broke through their own foot and disonlered 
them ; they then brought two or three ])ieces of cannon 
to bear U])on lis. General Wnvne ordered me to move 
the party down into a small hollow, to cover them from 


the fire of tlie artillery, and from thence to move them 
to a small piece of wood ; he then left me and sent 
back Major Byles to me, ordering me to remain there 
until further orders. Our artillery then began to play 
pretty smartly amongst the enemy and caused consider- 
able disorder amongst them. I remained in that con- 
dition for al)Out ten minutes or one-quarter of an hour, 
before the enemy begiin to move towards the Court- 
house again ; they moved on very slow, and, seemingly, 
very regular ; continued so for about an half hour or 
more, making small halts and moving on, in which time 
there was a considerable cannonade on both sides, and 
some musquetry on my right, which I conceived was 
principally from our people. The enemy still ccmtinued 
moving on, and I saw a body of troops coming on that 
I had not seen before, in very regular order from what 
had been in the front of those who had moved off be- 
fore ; troops that had marched and were coming back 
again. The troops I first saw, appeared to be the rear 
guard of the whole army, and the other body I took to 
be the rear of the main body. I remained still better 
than a quarter of an hour, 'till the troops I have men- 
tioned before seemed to have gained ground on our 
people ; the fire going from me on my right. I then 
thought it was time to provide for the safety of my 
party, the enemy being on my right in front, and on 
my left, a large morass in my rear. I called the two 
Field Officers and asked them their opinion respecting 
our moving from that ground ; they gave it as their 
opinion that we ought ; we then retreated through the 
morass that ^vas in our rear, and came by the way of 
Furman's mill, halted a small time to refresh the men. 
I ordered Major Ledyard to ride up towards the road 
we had advanced upon, to see where our people were, 
that we might join them again. He came back and 
informed me the enemy were moving on upon the plain 
ground, and it appeared to him our people had moved 
back. I then marched my party to one Craig's house, 
upon the left of our army, and saw a body of troops 


formed there, Avhich I aftenvards found to be tlie left 
wing of the anny. 

Q. How great was the number of men the enemy re- 
turned with toward the Court-house ? 

A. They appeared to be about fifteen liundred foot, 
and between one hundred and fifty and two hundred 

Q. Did you see any of our troops at tliat time beside 
tlie party you had under your command ? 

A. No. 

Q. Did you see any of our troops retreat tliat day ? 

A. No ; only the troops under my command. 

Q. Did you see any other body of the enemy besides 
the fifteen hundred loot and one hundred and fifty or 
two hundred horse you have mentioned ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. IIow great was the number ? 

A. They appeared to me to be about five or six hun- 
dred foot. 

Q. Do you recollect whether General Lee personally 
gave you orders to attack the enemy ? 

A. I do not recollect in any other manner than his 
ordering me to go on, but I considered the whole of the 
orders 1 received from General Lee and General Wayne 
previous to my attack, to go on and attack. 

Q. Did you receive any orders from General Lee 
after he desired you to keep your troops secreted in 
the woods, so that the enemy should not perceive their 
api)roach ? 

A. No ; I was then moving on towards the enemy. 

General Lee's question. Did you understand from 
Major Byles that he delivered the message to me you 
desired him to deliver ? 

A. I do not recollect he ever informed me whether 
he did or did not ; I never asked him about it. 

Major Fisiibourne being sworn : 

Q. Did you cany any message from Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Wayne to General Lee on the 28th of June i 


A. I did. 

Q. What was it ? 

A. When General Wayne and myself, with Major 
Lenox, had got within a mile of the Court-house, he saw 
the enemy moving towards Middletown, with a body 
of horse in their rear. General Wayne then ordered 
me back to General Lee, to inform him that the enemy 
were moving on towards Middletown, begging him to 
forward on the troops. I came to General Lee and 
informed him what General Wayne had desired me; 
he made no answer, but rode back towards the troops, 
as I tliought, in order to forward them on. I returned 
to General Wayne ; by this time he had Butler's de- 
tachment across the morass. Butler's detachment was 
moving on in order to get upon the left flank of the 
enemy, when a body of the enemy's horse made a 
charge upon him, he formed his regiment and gave 
them a fire, at w^hich the enemy's horse retired to their 
infantiy, who also retired. General Wayne then sent 
me Ijack to General Lee to inform him that the enemy 
were retreating, and to forward on the troops. General 
Lee said Pho, pho, it is nnpossil>le ; and asked me who 
sent me ? I told liim General Wayne. Butler's de- 
tachment was ordered by General Wayne to file off to 
the left in a piece of woods. General Wayne, after 
Butler's detachment had gone off, crossed the morass 
himself, with Major Lenox. He there met with Gen- 
eral Scott. They ordered Major Byles and myself to 
go and inform General I^ee that the enemy were retreat- 
ing, and begged him, for God's sake, to forward on the 
troops or the detachment which he had honored him 
with. Major Byles and myself rode back, and found 
General Lee about two miles in the rear with the 
retreating troops. I informed General Lee of the 
message ; and General Lee desired me to inform Gen- 
eral Wayne that he would see him himself immedi- 

Q. Did General Lee forward on the trooi)s that 
General Wayne requested ? 


A. Colonel Jackson's regiment came on. 

Q. What time elapsed after you were sent with the 
first message to General I^ee, before you were sent with 
the second i 

A. About one hour, to the best of my knowledge. 

Q. Were tlie enemy's troops retirmg during this 
time, or advancing ? 

A. After Colonel Butler had repulsed their horse, 
they retired, and w^ere retiring wnen I carried the 
second message. 

Q. What time elapsed after you were sent with the 
second message to General Lee fi-om General Wayne, 
before you were sent with the third i 

A. A))out one half hour. 

Q. Did General Lee see General Wayne himself to 
your knowledge ? 

A. lie did not, to my knowledge. 

Q. Were the troops that were retiring with General 
Lee in order or disorder ? 

A. They appeared to be in much disorder and much 

Q. In ^vhat manner were they retreating ? 

A. They Avere retreating in small parties, perliaps a 
regiment or two might be together. 

Q. Was General Lee in the rear or in the front of the 
retiring troops ? 

A. 1 think he was in the centre. 

Q. Did you observe any body of men drawn up in 
the rear of the retiring troops to cover their retreat ? 

A. I did not, before I saw his Excellency General 
Washington come up and form Colonel Stewart's regi- 
ment in the rear of the troops as they were retiring. 

Q. Did the troops appear to l)e retiring in haste i 

A. They were retiring moderately. 

Q. Were the enemy advancing on our troops as they 
were retiring ? 

A. They might have been, but I did not see them ; 
my attention was drawn another way. 

Q. How near was General Lee to his troops when 

sage i 


you carried the fii'st message from General Wayne to 
liim ? 

A. He was with his troops about half a mile in the 
rear of General Wayne. 

Q. Where was he when you carried the second mes- 

A. He was reconnoitering with a pai'ty of our horse 
close by an orchard, within a mile and a half, to the 
best of my knowledge, of the town of Freehold. 

Q. Had any of his troops advanced towards the 
enemy during that interval ? 

A. None that I perceived, except Butler's and Jack- 
son's regiments. 

Q. Had any advanced between the second message 
and the third ? 

A. None that I perceived. 

General Lee's questi<m. Did I give you any reason 
the second time you came to me, for saying it was im- 
possible the enemy were retiring? 

A. You did not. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel S^iitii being sworn : 

General Lee's question. Did General Scott move 
his detachment over the morass, and recross it again in 
a short time, without receiving any orders from me 
about it, to your knowledge ? 

A. Our detachment moved across the morass; the 
head of our column made its appearance out of a point 
of woods, at the front of which was a large plain. A 
small cannonade began from the enemy. The detach- 
ment marched out of the woods into an orchard, where 
we were a-going to form, when orders came (I do not 
know from whom), that we shoidd recross the morass 
and form upon the side of a very woody hill, in 
rear of the morass, where the whole detachment 

Q. Did any troops form with General Scott's detach- 
ment after you recrossed the morass ? 

A. There ^vere none. 
Vol. 111.— 4 


Q. When yoii advanced across the morass, did you 
see any men on your right or left ? 

A. No. We were advancing across the moras8, 
when Major Mercer rode by and said, we shall cut off 
the enemy's advance, General Wayne is in front of 
them, and, you will immediately be upon their flank. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Rhea being sworn : 

Q. Did you cany any message from General Wayne 
to General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. I carried one. 

Q. What was it ? 

A. General Wayne ordered me to go to General 
Lee and to inform him the enemy's troops were all 
under way, and were moving the Middletown road; 
and desired me to let General Lee know the sooner he 
could follow him the V)etter, as he intended to fall on 
their flank. I delivered the message to General Lee. 
General Foreman came up and immediately informed 
me he had orders to attend General Lee to direct the 
roads. I did not see General Lee afterwards, but re- 
turned to General Wayne. 

Q. Did General Lee give you any answer to General 
Wayne's message ? 

A. I think he did. 

Q. What was it ? 

A. That he would order his troops accordingly. I 
then mentioned a farther message that General Wayne 
gave me, which was, that he could not see the right of 
the enemy's line, and j>ossibly there might l)e a body 
of infantry that lay in the woods upon that (juarter to 
take him in. I apprehended he meant Genia'al Lee's 
]>ai'ty. I informed General Lee that the cavalry was 
m the rear; General Lee made a rej>ly to that b\' say- 
ing, that the British never left infantry in the rear of 
cavalry. I farther mentioned, tliat it would not im- 
pede General Lee in his march, as I ordered a ))ody of 
militia in that (piarter to make a discovx»ry if there 
should be any infantry there. 


Q. Did General Lee move with his troops towards 
General Wayne ? 

A. Yes, immediately. General Foreman came up 
and directed the party the road. 

Q. What number of troops were advanced to Gen- 
eral Wayne's assistance ? 

A. The party that General Lee commanded. 

Q. How far did they advance ? 

A. I do not know. I left General Lee immediately, 
and went another road to return to General Wayne. 

Q. Did the detachment under General Lee, or any 
part of it, actually reinforce General Wayne ? 

A. I believe they did ; but I did not see any of 

The Court adjourns 'till to-morrow at eight o'clock. 

JULY 13th. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Lawrence [Laurens] being 
sworn : 

Q. What was the strength of the corps under the 
command of General Lee, the 28th of June ? 

A. To the best of my knowledge, five thousand men. 

Q. Did you fall in with trooj)s under the command 
of General Lee the 28th of June i 

A. I had been reconnoitring in the open grounds 
between CaiT's house and Monmouth Court-house; I 
was there informed that General Lee, who had })een 
ordered to advance and attack the enemy, had halted 
his column at about two miles and a half or three miles 
fi-om the eneiny. I immediately went to inquire the 
cause of it. 1 found Varnum's brigade repassing a 
bridge in front of the i)osition which our army after- 
wards took. I addressed myself to General Lee, and 
informed him what I had seen of the enemy ; he re- 
plied that his intelligence had been so contradictoiy 
that he was exceedingly embarrassed ; upon my repeat- 
ing, however, what I had seen, and by appealing to 


Mr. Malniedie, who was w^th me, he ordered Varnum's 
brigade to march on towards the enemy. I then 
left General Lee, and went forward to reconnoitre in 
the neighl)orhood of the Court-house; I did not see 
him again until the enemy had left the Couil-house, 
and formed with their right towards a wood, and their 
left in open ground. Soon after, three regiments, com- 
manded by Colonel Stewart, Colonel Livingst<m, and 
anotlier Colonel, issued from the wood below the Court- 
house, in order to turn the enemy's left ; they had not 
arrived in open ground long before they were ordered, 
I think by Major Jamair, Aid-de-Camp to the Marquis 
d.e la Fayette, to fall back on the viUage; I assisted 
in conducting them to the village, and in forming iJiem 
in the orchard in front of the village ; General Lee was 
at that time in the rear of these troops, near the house 
which had been General Grant's quarters. I heard 
him ask if the troops were formed in the orchard, in 
such a way as led me to conclude that their retreat to 
that place had ))een made by his order. The troops had 
not been long formed in the orchard l)efore they were 
ordered, I do not know who delivered the message, but 
I think it was by General Lee's order, to retreat and 
gain the wood ; General Lee first directed that they 
should be thrown part into the woods on the left, and 
part into the woods on the right ; but afterwards said, 
that these woods were at too great a distance from each 
other, and the troops continued retreating without dis- 
tance between the corps sufficient for forming, and in 
some disorder, 'till they arrived at Carr's house. The 
Mai-quis de la Fayette was then ordered to form on the 
right by General Lee ; the rest of the tioops and the can- 
non continued retreating in disorder through the open 
fields towards the defile near Wikoff s house. Previous 
to this, I had received a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel 
Fitzgerald, written by his Excellency General Wash- 
ington's order, in which he desired to know how mat- 
ters were going on in the (juarter where I was, and 
added, the General was ready to support with his whole 


army. I delivered the letter to General Lee, and aske<l 
him to enable me to give an answer to it ; he read it 
over once and hesitated ; I repeated my request, to 
which he answered that he really did not know what 
to say. After the retreat of our troops from the vil- 
lage and the wood, the enemy pursued as far as the vil- 
lage, where they made a halt. Upon their advancing 
afterwards towards us, General Lee ordered the whole 
of our troops to retreat, and they retreated through the 
defile by Wikoff's house. It was there that I met his 
Excellency General Washington, who rallied some 
troops and made a stand. I saw nothing more of Gen- 
eral Lee, as he was not with the rear of his troops. 

Q. What was the situation of our troops when they 
first came up with the enemy ? 

A. I was on the right of our troops, and the first 
thing I saw was two pieces of cannon under the com- 
mand of Colonel Oswald, unsupported Ijy any infantry, 
on the extreme right of our troops. I exj)ressed my 
unejisiness to Colonel Oswald on that account, and he 
desired that I would apply for some troops to cover his 
cannon. I went in search of General Lee and the Mar- 
quis de la Fayette, but could find neither of them at 
that time. In going in search of them I met the three 
regiments issuing from the wood to turn the enemy's 
left, but saw none of the rest of our troops, except 
what I took to be the heads of columns halted in the 
w^oods on our left ; the main body of General Lee's 
corps was in these w^oods on our left ; as I was on their 
right, I am not a judge of their particular situation. 

Q. What was the situation of the enemy when our 
troops first came up with them ? 

A. When our troops arrived in the presence of the 
enemy, their right w^as supported by a wood in front of 
the village of Freehold, the wood to which tlie enemy's 
right extended, was in the forks of the road leading to 
Middletown and Shrewsbury; their left extended in 
the open grounds towards the village, and was covered 
by their cavalry. 


Q. How stronjj did the enemy appear to be ? 

A. Tliey never a])peared to me to consist of more 
than fifteen liundred mfantiy and cavalry, or two thou- 
sand at tlie most. The moment which they appeared 
most numerous to me was, wlien they were advancing 
in the open fields between Freeliold and Carr's liouse ; 
they were tlien advancing in two colunms, with their 
artilleiT and cavalry between the colunms. 

Q. Was any disposition made l^y General Lee for 
attackinj? the enemy i 

A. 1 lieard General Lee say, that General Foreman 
was to i)ilot a column by a road which would lead them 
to the enemy's front as tliey were retreating, l)y which 
means he was in hopes of cutting them off. That is all 
I heard of any dis])ositi(m ))eing made for attacking 
the enemy, and why it did not take j)lace I do not 

Q. When General Lee ordered the ti'oops to retreat 
from the orchard, did he mention any j)lace they were 
to retreat to ? 

A. lie did not, in my heanng. 

Q. Were the orders that you heai-d Genei'al Lee give 
the 28th of June, given distinct and clear ? 

A. I thought General Lee seemed to be a good deal 
embarrassed, and that his orders were indistinct. 

Q. Was tlie retreat made in an oi'derly or disorderly 
mannei', and in what particular manner { 

A. There was no precise direction given in what 
manner the troops should retreat, that 1 know of. 
Near the Court-house they wei*e in such a huddle that 
General Portal observed to General Lee, that terrible 
havock w<.)uld be made amongst them by the enemy's 
grape-sliot, if they should advance rapidly upon them, 
they in tliat condition. Afterwards, when our troops 
were retreating from Carr's house, tlie artillery of 
General Lee's corps was sent forward in front of the 
retreating tro<)])s, and there was none h^ft to check the 
enemy's progi'ess at a very advantageous defile. 

Q. What was General Washington's intelligence con- 


cerning the disposition of the enemy, previous to the 
orders given to General Lee ? 

A. That tlieir rear guard consisted of their grena- 
diers, light corps and cliasseurs. I repeat this from 
memory. I do not recollect that those were the exact 
words of the intelligence the General received. 

Question by tlie Court. What intelligence did you 
give General Lee relative to the situation and circum- 
stances of the enemy, when you rode back to him ? 

A. I informed him that while I was on the open 
ground between Carr's house and Freehold, two small 
bodies of the enemy, I took them to be regiments, 
marching by files, advanced in the woods on either 
hand, which manoeuvre, I apprehended, was a final pre- 
liminary to their finally quitting the village, or was 
made with a design of driving away the small detach- 
ment of cavalry with which I was. 

Question by the Court. What distance do you think 
it is from Freehold to Carr's house ? 

A. I do not think it is above half a mile. 

Question by the Court. What was the situation of 
the enemy when the three regiments were ordered to 
retreat, that had been previously ordered to tm'n the 
enemy's left flank ? 

A. The enemy had changed their front to the left, 
and were advancing. 

Genei'al Lee's question. What point of time was it 
I informed you that General Foreman was to conduct a 
column of mine through the woods, in order to take 
what we conceived a covering party of the enemy in 
their rear? 

A. I think you told me that about the time that I 
reported to you that the enemy was formed. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect any other 
conversation I had with you than what you have men- 
tioned, or any complaints I made to you ? 

A. I think you said that General Maxwell had re- 
moved his troops from a ground where he was ordered 
to remain, that otherwise the enemy would have been 


taken in a forceps*. T tliink you made a complaint 
respecting Genei'al Scott, but I do not recollect clearly 
what it was. 

General Lee's question. Did you impute my einbar- 
rassnient to my uneasiness, by having been counteracted 
by some officers under my conmiand, to the contradic- 
tory intelligence I received, or to my want of a i)ei-sonal 
tranquillity of mind ? 

A. I imputed it to want of presence of mind i 

General Lee's question. Are you sui*e that you saw' 
the two pieces of cannon under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Oswald unsupj)orted ? 

A. I am sure there was not a foot-soldier neai' theiu, 
excej)t artillerymen. 

General Lee's question. On which side of the ravine 
were they ? 

A. When I first saw them, thev were on the near 
side, sjieaking relative to our ])0.sition ; they afterwards 
crossed and remained unsup])orted. 

General Lee's question. Are you sure I gave no pre- 
cise order in the mannei* the troops shoulil retreat to 
the different corps ? 

A. I never heard myself of any orders being given, 
nor ever heard of any order being given by encjuiring 
of officers. 

General Lee's question. Were you ever in an action 
l>efore ? 

A. I have l)een in several actions ; I did not call that 
an action, as there was no action previous to the re- 
treat i 

General Lee's question. What time was it you re- 
ported to me the enemy were formed i 

A. I do not know the hour, but it was previous to 
the manreuvre of the three regiments to the enemy's 
left, and while part of your troops were marching to 
the edire of the woods where thev afterwards halted. 

Q. Did you carry any express order from (leneral 
Washington to General Lee respecting his attacking 
the enemy i 


A. I (lid not. 

Q. Did you see General ^Maxwell's l)ngade during 
the retreat ? 

A. Not in the first part of the retreat. They re- 
treated through tlie woods. 

Q. Had they been opposed to the enemy's right or 

A. As I was on the right of our troops, I cannot 
answer particularly relative to their situation. 


Q. What w^as the strength of the corps under the 
command of General Lee the 28th of June i 

A. To the best of mv knowledge the strength of the 
corps under his immediate command at English-Town, 
was about five thousand rank and file ; besides these, 
Colonel Moi-gan, with about six hundred men, and 
General Dicknison at the head of a body of militia, as 
I understood, of eight hundred men, were subject to 
his ordei's for the purposes of co-oi)eration. 

Q. Did you fall in with the ti-oops under the com- 
mand of General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. I had been sent by General Washington to recon- 
noitre the intermediate country between him and the 
advance corps under the command of General Lee, 
which I fell in with at some distance beyond the Court- 
house ? 

Q. What was the situation of General Lee's troops 
when you fell in with them ? 

A. They were issuing out of a wood on tlie left of 
the Court-house, in two or three small columns, so near 
to each other as, in my opinion, to be incapable of dis- 
playing, to which also their situation in the woods 
was an impediment. These columns were in an ol)lique 
direction with respect to the enemy, rathei* towards 
their right, and w^ithin cannon shot. I heard several 
questions about artillery, of w^hich there seemed to be 
a deficiency, and some confusion aj)peared to exist Antli 
respect to their situation and circumstances. I think I 


understood from General Lee, that some troops had 
been advanced through the woods towards the enemy's 
right. I rode up to the front of the columns, from 
whence I ])erceived the situation of the enemy, and ob- 
served tlieir cavalry were filing off towards their left, 
as if with design to attempt something on the i-ight of 
General Lee's troo])s ; this I informed him of, and sub- 
mitted to him whetlier it wouhl not be proper to send 
some troo}).^ to counteract that manieuvre of theii^s, and 
turn their left flank ; he a|)proved the suggestion, and 
authorized me to give orders for that jnirpose to a 
column on the right. The Marquis de la Fayette led 
this colunm, to whom I delivered the orders accord- 
ingly, ^vhich wei'e to wheel by his right, gain and attack 
the enemy's left flank. After this, I was under the 
necessity of returning, to report to General Washington 
what I had done in the execution of his orders. To 
explain moi'e particularly the situation of General Lee's 
troops, I would mention some circumstances that I have 
omitted : Thei*e appeai-ed to be a continuation of the 
wood, out of which the columns were issuing towards 
the enemy's right ; the ground in front of the columns, 
as far as the enemy, seemed ])lain and open, without 
auv matei'ial obstacles; that which was more imme- 
diately occujued by General Lee's troops was something 
lower than that which was occupied by the enemy ; but 
the difference, in my apprehension, was not so material 
as to be any considerable im})ediment to an attack, and 
the distance between the enemy and advanced corps 
was such, that it a[)])eared to be extremely dangerous 
to change the position l)y a retrograde movement in the 
face of the enemy. 

Q. What was the situation of the enemy, and numl)ers ? 

A. The enemy were drawn up with their right near 
a wood, their left on open ground covered i)y their 
cavalry, and forming' an ol)tuse ani^le with the Court- 
house ; the whole f(U*ce I saw at that time did not ex- 
ceed eight hundi^ed infantry and cavalry, to the best of 
my judgment, if there were so many. 


Q. Was any disposition made by General Lee for 
attacking the enemy that you saw ? 

A. Only the one I have mentioned, the sending off 
troops to attack their left flank, and the one of which I 
believe I was told by General Lee of sending off troops 
to attack their right flank. I saw no co-opei*ation with 
these movements by any general disposition of the re- 
maining troops. 

Q. Did you fall in wnth General Lee's troops after- 
wards ? 

A. I came up with them in their retreat a little time 
])efore the stand was made, by wliich the enemy re- 
ceived their first check. I heard General Washington 
say to General Lee, that it would be necessary for him 
(General Washington) to leave the ground and form 
the main body of the army, while I imderstood he 
recommended to General Lee to remain there, and take 
measures for checking tlie advance of the enemy ; Gen- 
eral Lee replied, he should obey liis orders, and would 
not be the first man to leave the field. I was some 
little time after this, near General Lee, during which, 
however, I heard no measures directed, nor saw any 
taken by him to answer the purpose above-mentioned. 
T understood a body of our troops, commanded by Gen- 
eral Wayne, and under him Cohmel Stewart and Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Ramsay, had been previously thrown 
into a wood on the left, in front of where I found Gen- 
eral Lee, which, I was afterwards told, had been done 
V)y direction of General Washington. On the right I 
saw some j)ieces of artillery pretty advantageously 
posted, but destitute of covering and support. jVIyself 
and others observed this to General Lee; no troops 
were sent, that I know of, by his direction to supply 
the defect, but, on its being suggested that the cannon 
would certainly ])e lost if left tliere in so unsu})ported 
a condition, General Lee ordered them to be drawn off. 
Previous to that, I believe I rode towards Colonel Liv- 
ingston, who was at the head of a detacliment of troops, 
and strongly advised him to march to the succour of the 


artillery; this he did not immediately do, but after 
some conversation between us, I saw him, when at a 
small distance, marching his detachment to do what I 
liad recommended to him. I now lost sight of General 
Lee, and rode towards the rear, where I found Colonel 
Olney retreating with a part of General Varnum's bri- 
gade ; I pressed him to form his troops along a fence 
which was near him, which he immediately performed, 
and had a smart conflict with the enemy. These were 
all the measures I knew of, taken V)y any part of the 
advanced corps to check the progress of the enemy, 
after my coming the second time to General Lee. 

Q. Were the troops, when you fell in with them the 
second time, retreating in order or disorder, and in 
what particular manner ? 

A. The corps that I saw were in themselves in toler- 
able good order, but seemed to be marching without 
system or desif^n, as chance should direct ; in short, I 
saw nothing like a general plan or combined dispo- 
sition for a retreat ; in this, however, the hurrj^ of the 
occasion made it very difficult to hav^e a distinct con- 

Q. Was there any body drawn up in their rear to 
cover tlieir retreat that you saw ? 

A. I saw no such thing. 

Q. AVeie the orders that you heard General Lee give 
that dav, eriven distinct and clear? 

A. I recollect to have heard General Lee give two 
ordei's ; at l)oth times he seemed to be under a hurry 
of mind. 

Q. Did General Lee, to your knowledge, advise Gen- 
eral AVashintrton of his retreats 

A. He (lid not, to my knowledge. 

Q. What was General AVashintcton's intelliijence 
concerning the disposition of the enemy previous to the 
orders given to General Lee? 

A. When the JVIanjuis de la Fayette first went out 
with his detachment, I accompanied him. The next 
day, after Ave received intelligence that the enemy had 


changed their disposition, and as they were j)resenting 
their rear to us had composed it of the flower of their 
army, consisting of their whole grenadiers, light in- 
fantry and chasseurs of the line. This intelligence I 
communicated by letter to General Washington the 
26th of June, in the evening; which letter, I have 
since understood by some gentleman of tlie family, was 
received by him. 

Question by the Court. What became of the troops 
of the advanced corps, after the time you saw Colonel 
Livingston moving to the succour of the cannon '{ 

A. It was after this that I assisted in forming tlie 
troops under Colonel Olney. In the action they had 
with the enemy my horse received a wound, wliich oc- 
casioned me a fall, by which I was considerably hurt. 
This and previous fatigue obliged me to retire, and 
prevented my knowing what became of the detach- 
ments of the advanced corps after that circumstance. 

Question by the Court. How far from Monmouth 
Court-house to the place the troops made the first statid ? 

A. The several events I hav^e related passed so raj)idly 
that I could not at that time form any accurate judg- 
ment as to the relative distances of places, and was pre- 
vented by indisposition from seeing them after the 

General Lee's question. I should be glad to know 
from what point of action you mean, that you thought 
it would ])e dangerous to make a retrograde manoeuvre ? 

A. In the first situation I found tlie troops beyond 
Monmouth Court-house, where I first fell in with them, 
and where, I believe, they first came in view of the 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect who com- 
manded the two pieces of cannon which you have men- 
tioned were left unsupported, and were afterwards sup- 
ported, as you say, by your advice i 

A. I was not near enough to know the officers ; but 
from what I have since heard, I am led to suppose that 
Captain Cook commanded them. 


General Lee's qtiestion. Did you hear me address 
myself in person to Colonel Livingston's detaehnieut, 
intreating them to draw off either to the right or left, 
from before the cannon, in order to give them the 
means of firing upon the enemy's cavalry, which was 
ranged exactly in front, and presented a very fine 
object i 

A. I heard nothing of tlie kind ; for I was not with 
that regiment at the time it got up with the artillery. 

General Lee's question. Did you not express in the 
field an idea diametrically reverse of my state of mind, 
from what you have before mentioned in your testi- 
mony ? 

A. I did not. I said something to you in the field 
expressive of an opinion, that there aj)peared in you no 
want of that degree of self-possession, whicli jn-oceeds 
from a want of personal intrepidity. I had no idea in 
my j)resent evidence of insinuating the most distant 
charge of this nature, but only to designate that there 
appeared a certain hurry of si)irits, which may procee<l 
from a temper not so calm and steady as is necessary 
to support a man in such critical circumstances. 


Q. What number of men did the advance corps con- 
sist of under General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. I understood the number under General Lee's 
immediate command amounted to about five thousand. 

Q. Did you fall in with the troops under the com- 
mand of General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. On the first firing General Washington heard, he 
ordered me to proceed and see General Lee, and know 
liovv matters stood. On my way I met with some troops 
retreating ; I rode quickly by them, though [ 1 1 observed 
that the front of them was a good deal scattered, and 
no order observed. As I advanced, I found them in 
much better order, when I met with tlie Marcjuis de la 
Fayette, of whom I enquired where General Lee was ; 
he directed me, and I found General Lee at a house 


that I think is distinguished by the name of Carr's 
house. I informed him that General Washington had 
sent me for infonnation of the situation of matters ; his 
reply was, they were all in confusion ; I told him that 
General Washington would be glad to know the par- 
ticulars; that Mr. Harrison Randolph, an intelligent 
young gentleman, (who was present with me,) would 
communicate to General Washington whatever General 
Lee might say ; that I myself would go on and get a 
view of the enemy. General Lee replied again, that he 
had nothing to say, but they were all in confusion. I 
went on towards Monmouth Court-house. Not very 
far from the enemy I met with General Wayne, who 
was, I believe, reconnoitring ; some few words passed 
between us. I told him 1 would go nearer to the 
enemy myself, and make the best observations I could. 
I observed the front of the enemy advancing towards 
the village ; I attended as much as I could to discern 
their numbers, and it appeared to me, (from the best of 
my judgment) that those in motion amounted to about 
seven or eight hundred infantry. As they advanced 
into the town, I inclined to my right ; these waited till 
the light-horse came on, wh^n I found it not safe to 
remain there, and returned. On my way to the Court- 
house, I met with no troops except a few scattered 
men ; but on my return I saw Colonel William Butler 
and Colonel Guest nearly half way between Carr's 
house and Monmouth Court-house. Colonel William 
Butler asked me what he should do Avith the party 
under his command ? I asked him if he had no supe- 
rior officer there to apply to for directions? I think he 
told me nime. I informed him of the situation of the 
enemy, and as his men were exposed to the sun at that 
time, and a wood not far from them, I advised him to 
take them into the shade, as they might be as useful as 
w^here they were. I returned, and soon after met with 
General Washington, and informed him of what I had 
seen. I remember General Lee's mentioning to me, 
(the time I do not recollect,) that General Scott had 


been well posted in a wood, and that he had left it, for 
what reason he could not tell. 

Q. Did you hear General Lee give any orders to his 
troops wliile you were with him ? 

A. None. 

Q. Were there any steps taken by him or others 
(while you were with him) to get the troops in order, 
that you saw? 

A. None. I was with him but a very short tin>e, 
and saw but veiy few troops where he was. 

Q. What was General Lee about when you came up 
with him ? 

A. lie w^as sitting on his horse, doing nothing that I 
saw. There were soine gentlemen around him; I do 
not know what he might be saying to them. 

Q. Did General Lee advise General Washington of 
his retreat, to your knowledge ? 

A. I do not know that he did. 

Q. Did you hear any conversation pass between 
General Lee and General Washington the 28th of 
June ? 

A. I heard General Lee remind General Washington 
that Jie was averse to an attack or a general engage- 
ment, or words to that purport ; and 1 think I heard 
General Lee also tell General Washington that he was 
against it in Council, and that while the enemy were 
so suj)erior in cavaliy we could not oj)pose them. 

Q. What time of the day did this conversation take 
I)lace ? 

A. It was shortly after I returned from Monmouth 
Court-house, and I conjecture shortly after General 
Washington had got uj) to General Lee. 

Q. When General Lee mentioned to you that they 
were in confusion, did he express liimself in a distinct 
and clear manner ? 

A. I understood him clearly. 

Q. How far was it from General Lee, when he said 
they Avere all in confusion, to tlie place the enemy then 
were ? 


A. I should suppose it about a mile. 

General Lee's question. Did you conceive I meant 
that the confusion arose from certain officers quitting 
their posts without authority, contradictory intelligence, 
or some such circumstances, or * positively that the 
troops were in confusion ? 

A. I had no idea of the confusion being partial, but 
that you meant the troops in general were in confusion. 

The Court adjourns till to-morrow, nine o'clock. 

JULY 14th. 
The Court met according to adjournment. 
Colonel Ogden being sworn : 

Q. Did you march with the troops under the com- 
mand of General Lee towards the enemy the 28th of 
June ? 

A. Yes. General Maxwell's brigade, to which I be- 
longed, together with General Scott's and General 
Wayne's detachments, lay at the Sun-Tavern, about 
five or six miles from Allen-Town, on the Monmouth 
Court-house road, when we received orders to join Gen- 
eral Lee at English-Town. We joined General Lee the 
27th. The 28th, in the morning, the brigade was 
ordered to parade and march to Craig's mills ; after 
we had marched a few hundred yards, that order was 
countermanded, and we were ordered to join the troops 
that had gone towards the Court-house. We joined 
them at or near Freehold Meeting-house ; we marched 
on the Monmouth Court-house road from that place 
about a mile and a half, or two miles, when we took a 
left-hand road, which we followed about a half a mile, 
when we received orders to go to the right-about ; we 
then marched back into the Monmouth Court-house 
road, which we crossed inclining to the left, till we 
came to a large clear field. General Maxwell was then 
in front ; I rode to him, and enquired where the brigade 
was to form ; he told me he had no orders to form, and 
desired I w^ould lead on the brigade in tlie direction 
Vol. in.— 5 


they were then marching. At this time I did not con- 
sider it as a retreat, but expected we were going to 
form. At this time I saw two colunnis of our men 
coming up from towards the Court-house. I saw, 1 
think, two or three pieces of artillery halted ; the lim- 
bers were taken off. I heard mention being made of, 
I think. Colonel Stewart's regiment being ordered to 
cover this artillery; the other troops continued to 
march from the Court-house. At this time I saw a Mr. 
Wikoff ride up to (xeneral Lee, and began giving him 
some information ; he was interrupted by General Lee, 
and put off. The brigade was still moving on from 
the Coiu't-house. I rode again to General Maxwell, 
and asked him where the brigade should form. He 
said he had no orders for forming them. Hy this time 
we had crossed the morass that was between the 
enemy's encampment and ours the evening after the 
action, and came near the hedge-row. At this time I 
saw no disposition for facing the enemy, but under- 
stood that General Maxwell had orders to move his 
brigade near to some cross-road. I begged of General 
Maxwell to let me halt my regiment; he consented, and 
I drew them up on the left of the hedge-row, in a piece 
of wood, expecting to have had an opportunity of cover- 
ins: our men retreatincr. After I had been there six or 
eight minutes. Major Ogden came to me ; he asked me 
how he could be of the most service to me ; I told him 
by reconnoitring the enemy and giving me notice. 
As long as my right flank was secure, on my left was 
a morass, 1 apprehended no danger from that quarter. 
A few miimtes after this, one of General Lee's Aids 
came to me, and told me that General Lee expected 
that I would not leave that ground ; I told him that 
he might assure General Lee that I should not leave it 
as long as my right flank was secure. In a short time 
after tliis, there was a pretty smart firing of musquetry 
on the right, in my front, immediately on which, a 
number of our men that had been engaged, retreated 
towards nie in a direct line from the enemy; immedi- 


at^ly on which I saw the enemy had crossed the morass 
on my left, and was moving down on that quarter, on 
wliicn T ordered a retreat. 

Q. Who did the order come from to go to the right- 
about ? 

A. I do not know. It came to me from Colonel 

Q. Were the two columns of our men that you saw 
retiring, retiring in order or disorder ? 

A. In order. 

Q. Did you receive any other order from General 
Lee the 28th of June, besides the order you received 
by his Aid i 

A. No. 

General Lee's question. Do you conceive I pre- 
vented Ml*. Wikoff giving me information, and sent 
him off in a huff ? 

A. I thought so. Mr. Wikoff* in some measure 
apologized, as if he had looked upon it rather as an 
intrusion, and turned off. 

General Lee's question. Did you hear the conversa- 
tion V)etween me and Mr. Wikoff ? 

A. I did not. There was no conversation. He came 
up as if to give you information, and you put him off, 
as I have before mentioned. 


Q. What was the strength of the advance corps 
under the command of General Lee the 28th of June 'i 

A. About five thousand, according to the best infor- 
mation I could receive. 

Q. Did you fall in with the troops under the com- 
mand of General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. I did. In the morning three other Aids belong- 
ing to General Washington had been sent on other 
business ; I was the only one that remained with him, 
until we went about two-thirds of the way from 
English-Town to where the action was ; Colonel Hamil- 
ton then returned and pointed out to General Wash- 


inirt'»n tljp nf^:-f--*»irv there wa< f»f s^-ndincr i>art of the 
army iijH»n «.iir riirlit, in ease <»f an accident to the 
tr<>»|»'^ uiifl*-r the comniaiid of General Lee, or the 
eneniy% att»-ni|itirit: tf» turn that flank. General Knox 
came ufi s^nin aft^r : he uiirc<l the necessity of it in 
very -tr«inir tenns, an«l. t<» the l»est of my recollec- 
tion, made use of the w<»nl ciinfu>ii»n. which I uniler- 
sto*.*! lie meant tr> l»e in the tPMjps under General 
I>-e: that when lie left them ?mme i-onfusion ap- 
j^eaied : accnrdinirly a pan of the army was onlered 
that wav. Colonel Han-ison and mvself-then re- 
qu^-sted leave of the General to ride «in to see what 
situation thinL'*^ were in : we ha*! n<»t irot far Wfore 
we njet many scattcriuif tro«»j»s: u]M»n askinir where 
thev were tr<»in:r tliev said thcv were onleretl back 
to refre>h themselves. We then met «»ther large par- 
tie*i cominjr oflF. some in toleralde ir«HMl onler, others 
in ^reat confusion. We aske<l tlie oliicei"s, some- 
times toffether, sometimes sejiarately, what could l>e 
the cause of it, or where thev were LToinir to i The 
jreneral an>wer wa**, that thev weiv onlereil to ivti'eat, 
but did not know to what j»lace. When we came tow- 
ards that defile on the left of Mr. Wikoffs house, where 
the fir>t stand was made, we there met a great many 
comintr oif, rather in di^^o^ler. A French <rentleman, 
wIjo I believe to Ijc Colonel (Tarion, sec* aid in the 
KuLMueer iJepai-tment. told me that our men were re- 
treatinjr in L^eat di><»r<ler, and the eiiemv ])ressinir elose 
ujH»n them; that that was an advantageous piece of 
ground, and begged I would give orders to stop two 
jiieces of <.-annon there, that were just passing, in order 
to cover the retreat of our men. 1 told him I was not 
authorized X(t trive anv oi-deis, and Colonel Harrison 
and myself ]»roceeded towards Carr's house. I there 
saw (ieneral Lee sitting on lioiseback at the fence, and 
the enemy advaiicinir. at I think, better than half a 
mile di-tance. I l)a<l some talk with Captain Mercer, 
one of (ieneral Lee's Aids, and, among other questions, 
asked him the meaninirof the retreat. I do not recollect 


the words of his answer, but lie gave nie to understand 
that we were all very much deceived, and that instead 
of finding a covering party as was expected, the enemy's 
whole force was drawn up to receive them. Some few 
troops were drawn up in the rear of this fence where 
General Lee was; they soon after marched off, by 
whose order I do not know. Colonel Harrison and 
myself remained reconnoitering the enemy ; he asked 
me if I thouii^ht there could be more than a thousand of 
them. I told him I believed there were from twelve to 
fifteen hundred. AV)out this time General Lee rode 
back towards that defile, with some scattenng troops ; I 
then advanced through a grain field, where Colonel 
Dehart was taking a view of the enemy, and remained 
there until we thought it imprudent to stay any longer, 
as the British light-horse began to come pretty near. 
Previous to this, while we were at the fence, Colonel 
Harrison asked a number of gentlemen who were round 
us, if they understood whether or no General Washing- 
ton had any information of the situation of things; 
upon no answer being made, he proposed that he or I 
should return and acquaint him with what I saw. He 
soon after repeated this proposal, upon which I pressed 
him to return and give the General an account. After 
leaving the grain field, I rode back towards the defile, 
and after crossing it, found General Washington on the 
high ground, giving orders for rallying some troops 
towards opposing the progress of the enemy at this 
y)oint. He enquired for some cannon, and was told 
they had gone forward. He then ordered some pieces 
to l>e immediately brought back. Upon my coming up 
to him, he asked me if I was able to find out the mean- 
ing of the retreat. I told him not, that I expected that 
would be a subject of enquiry for a future day, but in 
the mean time, some great exertions must be used, as 
the enemy were pressing on. By this time Lieutenant- 
Colonel Oswald returned with, I believe, two pieces of 
cannon, and the enemy's cannon appeared on the other 
side of the iiin; General Washington ordered the 


troops under Colonel Stewart and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ramsay to incline to tbeir left, that they might be 
under cover of a corner of woods, and not exposed to 
the enemy's cannon that were in their front. He then 
retired, as I suppose, to give orders for the formation 
of the other part of the amiy. A warm cannonade 
then began, two or three pieces of cannon being brought 
up to the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Oswald. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Oswald then rode up to me, told 
me that his 'men were exceedingly much fatigued, and 
would not be able much longer to work the pieces ; I 
referred him to General Knox, who was within a small 
distance. Soon after this a heavy fire began between 
the troops under Colonel Stewart and Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Ramsay and the advanced troops of the British 
army^ in the skirt of the woods before-mentioned. Col- 
onel Oswald rode up to me again, seemed much embar- 
rassed and distressed for the preservation of his pieces, 
and said he must certainly lose them, as he had no in- 
fantiT for their support. By this time Colonel Stewart 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Ramsay's men were obliged to 
give way, and the enemy pressed on close, but were 
checked by a detachment which I supposed to be under 
the command of Colonel Livingston. I then turned to 
the rear of Loi'd Stirling's line, where General Wash- 
ington was ; there I saw General Lee ; Captain Mercer 
came up and asked me if I was now convinced that the 
whole of the British army was there ? To the best of 
my recollection, I told him I had foi'uied no such 

Q. How strong did the enemy appear to be as they 
were advancing i 

A. I think fi'om twelve to fifteen hundred. I do not 
recollect, whether my idea (at that time) took in their 
cavalry or not. 

Q. Did you hear General Lee give any orders to the 
troo{)s when you saw him at Carr s house i 

A. I think from my going there until General Lee 
retired off that field, was from twenty minutes to one- 


half an hour; during which time I heard no orders 
given, nor saw any. plan formed or adopted for check- 
ing the progress of the enemy. 

Q. Did General Lee appear tranquil or disturbed ? 

A. General Lee appeared serious and thoughtful. 

Q. Did you hear any conversation take place between 
General Lee and General Washington that day? 

A. No. General Lee had rode up to General Wash- 
ington l)efore I returned, as I afterwards understood. 

Q. Were the troops you saw retreating in order or 
disorder, and in what particular manner? 

A. They mostly retreated rather in disorder, which 
appeared to me to have proceeded as much from being 
ignorant of the place they were to go to, as from the 
retreat itself. Some were retreating in column and 
some scattered. 

Question by the Court. Did you understand there 
was any covering party a])pointed to the artillery of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Oswald's that day ? 

A. I did not. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Harrison being sworn : 

Q. How strong was the detachment under the com- 
mand of General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. I never saw a regular return of that detachment, 
but understood it amounted to about five thousand 
rank and file, exclusive of the corps under Colonel 

Q. Did you fall in with the troops under the com- 
mand of General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. On the 28th of June, as one of His Excellency's 
suite, I marched with him till we passed the Meeting- 
house near Monmouth, to where the roads forked. 
When we came to where the roads forked, His Excel- 
lency made a halt for a few minutes, in order to direct 
a disposition of the army. The wing under General 
Green was then ordered to go to the right to prevent 
the enemy's turning our right flank. After order was 
given in this matter, and his Excellency was proceed- 


ing down the road, we met a fifer, who appeared to 
be a good deal frighted. The General asked him 
whether he was a soldier belonging to the army, and 
the cause of his returning that way ; he answered, that 
he was a soldier, and that the Continental troops that 
had })een advanced w^ere retreating. On this answer 
the General seemed to be exceedingly sui-prized, and 
rather more exasperated, appearing to discredit the 
account, and threatened the man, if he mentioned a 
thing of the sort, he would have him whipped. We 
then moved on a few paces forward, (perhaps a})out 
fifty yards,) where we met two or three persons more 
on that road ; one was, I think, in the habit of a sol- 
dier. The General asked them from whence they came, 
and whether they belonged to the army ; one of tliem 
replied that he did, and that all the troops that had 
been advanced, the whole of them, were retreating. 
His Excellency still a])peared to discredit the accoimt, 
having not heard any firing except a few cannon a con- 
sidera])le time before. However, the General, or some 
gentleman in company, observed that, as tlie report 
came by different persons, it miglit be well not wholly 
to disregard it. Upon this I offered my services to the 
General to go forward, and to bring him a true account 
of the situation of matters, and requested that Colonel 
Fitzgerald miglit go with me. After riding a very 
short distance, at the bridge in front of the line that 
was afterwards formed on the heights, I met part of 
Colonel Grayson's regiment, as I took it, from some of 
the officers that I knew. As I was in pursuit of infor- 
mation, I addressed myself to Captain Jones, of that 
regiment, and asked him the cause of the retreat, 
w4iether it was genei'al, or whether it was only a par- 
ticular part of the troops that were coming off? 1 do 
not ])recisely recollect the answer that he gave me ; but 
I think, to the best of my knowledge, he said, Yonder 
are a great many more ti'oops in the same situation. 
I proceeded and fell in with Lieutenant-Colonel Parke ; 
these troops were rather disordered. The next officer 


that I was acquainted with was Lieutenant-Colonel 
William Smith. I addressed myself to Colonel Smith, 
and asked him what was the cause of the troops retreat- 
ing, as I had come to gain infomiation ? who replied 
that he could not tell, that they had lost but one man. 
I then proceeded down the line, determined to go to the 
rear of the retreating troops, and met with Colonel 
Ogden. I asked him the same question, whether he 
could assign the cause, or give me any information why 
the troops retreated. He appeared to be exceedingly 
exasperated, and said, By God ! they are flying from a 
shadow. I fell in immediately after with Captain Mer- 
cer, who is Aid-de-Camp to Major-General Lee, and, 
expecting to derive some information from him, I put 
the same question to him. Captain Mercer seemed, by 
the manner of his answer, (as I addressed myself to 
him, saying, For God's sake, what is the cause of this 
retreat ?) to be displeased ; his answer was, if you will 
proceed, you will see the cause ; you will see several col- 
umns of foot and horse. I replied to Captain Mercer 
that I presumed that the enemy was not in greater 
force than when they left Philadelphia, and we came 
to that field to meet columns of foot and horse. The 
next field-officer I met was Lieutenant-Colonel Rhea, 
of New Jersey, who appeared to be conducting a regi- 
ment. I asked him uniformly the same question for 
information, and he appeared to be very nuich agi- 
tated, expressed his disapprobation of the retreat, and 
seemed to be equally concerned (or perhaps more) that 
he had no place assigned to go where the troops 
were to halt. About this time I met with Gene- 
ral Maxwell ; and agreeable to the General's direction 
to get intelligence, I asked him the cause. He appeared 
to be as mucn at a loss as Lieutenant-Colonel lihea, or 
any other officer I had met with ; and intimated that 
he had received no orders upon the occasion, and was 
totally in the dark what line of conduct to pursue. I 
think nearly opposite to the point of wood where the 
first stand was made, I saw General Lee. I do not 


recollect that anything passed between lis, but General 
Lee'a asking nie where General Washington was ; and 
my telling him he was in the rear advancing. I then 
went to the extreme of the retreating troops, which 
were formed of Colonel Stewart's regiment, and found 
them in the field where the enemy retreated to, just 
beyond the defile. I addressed myself to General 
Wayne, General Scott, and, I believe, to Colonel Stew- 
art, and to several other ofticers who were there ; and 
asked General Wavne the cause of tlie retreat, who 
seemed no otherwise concerned than at the retreat 
itself, told me he believed it was impossible to tell the 
cause; and while we were standing together, which I 
suppos^ed might l)e three or four minutes, the enemy's 
li<;lit infantrv and ^^crenadiers came issuins: out of the 
wood, pressing very hard upon us at about two or 
three or four hundred yards distance. The troops that 
had been halted were put in motion. I had some con- 
versation with General Wayne relative to a disposition 
of the troops, if nothing could be done to check the 
advance of the enemy, who seemed to consi<ler the mat- 
ter exceedingly practicable, provided any effoii: or exer- 
tion was made for the purpose, alledgiug tliat a very 
select body of men had been that day drawn off from 
a body far inferior in number. General Wayne then 
told me, that as General Washin<rt(m mii^ht not be i)er- 
fectly well acquainted with the country, that it might 
be well to advise him of a road, if I met him, that led 
by Taylor's Tavern, on which it would ])e necessary to 
throw a body of troops, in case the enemy should 
attempt to turn our right flank. I, uj)on this, left 
General Wayne, and galloj)ed down the line to meet 
General Washington, to report to him the state of our 
troops, and the ])rogress of the enemy. I met General 
Washington at the point of wood, or near it, where the 
first stan<l was made, and reported to him what I had 
seen, adding that the enemy were pressing hard, and 
would be upon him in a march of fifteen minutes; 
whicli (I have since understood) was the first informa- 


tlon he received of the enemy being so close upon our 
retreating troops. We remained there a few minutes 
until the extreme rear of our retreating troops got up. 
The General looked about and said that it appeared to 
be an advantageous spot to give the enemy the first 
check. General Wayne came up at tlie same time, 
seenjed to be anxious for the measure, and thought it a 
very good place also. General Washington, upon this, 
called for one or two battalions to check the enemy at 
that spot, and asked What officers he should use upon 
the occasion. General Washington seeing Colonel Ram- 
say, called on him, and told liim lie was one of the 
officers he should depend upcm that day to give the 
enemy a check, and seeing Colonel Stewart, 1 ]>elieve 
he addressed himself to him in the same manner. 
The battalions were formed, I believe, under the 
direction of General Wayne; and General Wasli- 
ington observed, that he would ride back and make 
a disposition of the army, while these troops acted 
to check the advance of the enemy. There were, at 
the same time, two pieces of aitillery, I think, ordered 
to form upon the right of these troops ; I believe 
they were ordered to form by General Washington, 
as I heard him to call out for some artillery at the 
time he gave orders for the y)attali()ns. In a little 
time the troops inclined to the left, advancing still 
under the direction of General Wayne, into a piece of 
woods, and there they stood and received the fire of 
the enemy. Much about this time, near the point of 
woods, if I mistake not, I saw General Lee, and I re- 
member some conversation passed between him and 
Colonel Hamilton. From the tenor of General Lee's 
question to Colonel Hamilton, Hamilton had either 
suggested some measure to General Lee, which Hamil- 
ton conceived proper, and which was disapproved by 
General Lee, or had condemned some measure that had 
V)een adopted by General Lee ; because I recollect 
(General Lee asked Hamilton, Do I appear to have lost 
my senses, or do I appear to be out of my senses ? or a 


question of that import. The troops, in a short time, 
were driven out of tlie wood and we retreated ; the 
two pieces of artillery that were j)laced on the right, I 
saw left entirely imsupported and uncovered, as the two 
battalions to which they were attached had inclined 
to tlie left and gone into the wood. The two ])iece8 
of artillery began to retreat and fell back the distance 
of thirty or forty yards, when it was observed, as I 
think, ])y some gentleman, that ther(i would be great 
danger of the British troops turning the point of woods 
and falling upon the right flank of the two battalions 
under Colonel Stewart and Lieutenant-Colonel Ramsay. 
Colonel Hamilton and some other persons rode up, and 
requested the officer to advance again to the ground 
they had left with the artillery, for the purpose of 
firing upon the enemy. I saw at this time, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Oswald, of the train, who appeared to be ex- 
ceedingly anxious for the security of his pieces there 
being unsupported, and I think he asked some gentle- 
man what he should do, or could do with the pieces in 
that situation ; he was referred to General Knox, who 
was but a very small distance from us. General Knox 
seemed to be under the same embairassment, and 
thought they were in a very dangerous condition; but 
upon its being observed by some gentleman that these 
pieces would be of infinite advantage to check the pro- 
gress of the enemy, he called out for some troops to 
cover them, and called upon his friend, Colonel Harry 
Jackson, by name. Whether any troops came or not 
I do not recollect. 

Q. Did you hear General Lee give any orders that 
dav ? 

A. I do not recollect to have heard General Lee give 
any order that day. I was with General Lee twice, 
and then ])ut a very short time, i)erhaps not above five 

Q. What was General Washington's intelligence 
concerning the disposition of the enemy, previous to 
his onlers to General Lee i 


A. Before the army mai'clied from Cranberry, Gen- 
eral Washington was informed, by a letter from Col- 
onel Hamilton, on the 26th of June, who was on a de- 
tachment w^th the Marquis de la Fayette ; his expres- 
sions were, from what I have heard and seen, the 
enemy have made a very judicious disposition. They 
have placed their baggage in front, and the whole of 
their flying army in the rear, with a strong rear guard 
of a thousand men, at four hundred paces distant ; 
adding, that unless the army were in supporting dis- 
tance, he did not think it advisable for that detachment 
to attack them. This is the substance of the intelli- 

Question by the Court. Did you discover or under- 
staml, upon your advancing towards the enemy, that 
they were in great force i 

A. I do not know what number of the enemy might 
liave presented themselves to persons who had been as 
far down as Monmouth Court-house, or ])elow where I 
was, ])ut I did not myself, according to the best of my 
judgment, see two thousand of the enemy that day, in- 
cluding their cavalry, and taking in a column that ad- 
vanced towards our left. 

Doctor M'IIenry being sworn : 

Q. What capacity were you in in the field the 28th 
of June ? 

A. As one of His Excellency General Washington's 

Q. Did you see General Lee the 28tli of June ? 

A. 1 saw him previous to his retreat and after his 

Q. Where did you see him i 

A. On the road with his troops, they on their 
march towards the enemy, a little on the left of Mon- 
mouth Courthouse, but how far to the left, whether on 
this side or beyond it, I cannot fix l)y description ; I 
told him I had come from the General, and asked him 
if he had any information to send back l>y me, as 1 was 


retuming again ; he desired me to inform His Excel- 
lency that the enemy did not appear to well under- 
stand the roads — that the route he was then on cut off 
two miles — that the rear of the enemy was composed 
of fifteen hundred or two thousand — that he expected 
to fall in with them, and had great certainty of cutting 
them off. I then took my leave of General Lee, and 
had got above twenty yards from him when he called 
M' Henry, and I returned to him. You will also, said 
General Lee, tell His Excellency that General Wayne 
and, I think, Colonel Butler, are amusing them with a 
few loose cannr)n shot, while I perfonn this route ; say 
also to him that the enemy are constantly changing 
their front, which is a usual thing with those who 
retreat. I then left the General ; he spoke it with a 
fix'd and firm tone of voice and countenance, which 
suggested to me the certainty of succeeding, and I 
made the report accordingly to General Washington. 

Q. Where did you see General Lee after the re- 
treat ? 

A. While General Washinsfton was formino^ the 
regiments under Colonel Stewart and Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Ramsay, General Lee came up. General Wash- 
ington, upon his approaching, desired of General Lee 
the cause of the retreat of the troops? General Lee hesi- 
tatingly replied, Sir, Sir. General Washington then 
rej)eated, I think, the question a second time ; I did not 
clearly understand General Lee's reply to him, hut can 
just remember the words confusion, contradictory infor- 
mation, and some other words of the same import. The 
manner, however, in which they were delivered, I re- 
member pretty well ; it was confused, and General Lee 
seemed under an embarrassment in giving the answer. 
I saw General Lee where Lord Stirling was formed, a 
little after the time Colonel Stewart and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Ramsay had given way ; he there mentioned 
to His Excellency and some others that were round him, 
that effects such as happened to-day, would always be 
the consequence of a great superiority in cavalry ; Gen- 


eral Lee said something at the same time of his being 
against the measure, hut what measure it was I do not 
certainly know; I saw General Lee again at English- 
Town, when I was ordered to c^o and send the baggage 
forward, in case the day shoiud prove unlucky. The 
General was on horseback, observing to a number of 
gentlemen who were standing round, that it was mere 
folly or madness, or words that conA^eyed to me a 
meaning of that kind, to make attempts against the 
enemy where they possessed so great a superiority in 
cavahy, and that, under such circumstances, we could 
not be successful. I then returned to His Excellency. 

General Lee's question. When I expressed a disap- 
probation of committing our troops to tlie enemy when 
they had so great superiority of cavahy, did I not add, 
in a level country ? 

A. I left you abruptly, and while you were speaking 
to others, you might have mentioned it to them ; I did 
not hear it. 

Colonel Tilghmax l^eing swom : 

Q. Did you see General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. On the 28th of June, as General Washington was 
advancing with the main body of the army between 
English-lown and Freehold Meeting, he met with 
Colonel Hamilton, who told him he had come from our 
aflvance coi'ps, and that he imagined from the situation 
he had left our van and the enemy's rear in, they would 
soon engage. He advised General Washington to throw 
the right wing of the aiiny round by the riglit, and to 
follow with tlie left w4ng directly in General Lee's rear 
to suj)port him. He gave reasons for this disposition, 
which were thought good. While order w^as giving to 
make the disposition, a countryman rode up ; on l)eing 
asked where he came from, he said, from towards the 
Court-house; he was asked what news J he said he 
heard our people w^ere retreating, and that that man, 
pointing to a iifer, had told hii?i so. General Wasliing- 
ton not believing the thing to be true, ordered the iifer 


under the care of a liglit-horseman, to prevent his 
spreading a report and damping the troops who were 
advancing; but that certain intelligence might be 
gained, Colonel Fitzgerald and Colonel Hanison were 
sent forward ; General Washington then rode on him- 
self, and between Freehold Meeting and the morass 
that parted the two armies during the day, he met two 
reginjents — Colonel Grayson's and Colonel Patton's ; 
Captain Moore, I think, was at the head of Grayson's 
regiment; upon the General asking him where these 
troops were going, the officer at first said they had been 
very much fatigued, and had been ordered oif to refresh 
themselves; he then said the particular duty they had 
been upon was to secure two pieces of cannon which 
had been left upon some part of the field in danger. 
The General then desired him to take his men into a 
wood near at hand, as they were exceedingly heated 
and fatigued, and to draw some rum for them, and to 
keep them fi'om straggling. The General asked the 
officer wlio led, if the whole advanced corps were 
retreating ? He said he believed they were. He had 
scarcely said these words when we saw the heads of 
several columns of our advanced corps beginning to 
appear. The first officers the General met were Colonel 
Shreve and Lieutenant-Colonel Rhea, at the head of 
Colonel Shreve's regiment. The General was exceed- 
ingly alarmed, finding the advance corps falling back 
uj)<)n tlie main body, without the least notice given to 
him, and asked Colonel Shreve the meaning of the 
retreat ; Colonel Shreve answered in a very significant 
manner, smiling, that he did not know, but that he had 
retreated by order, he did not say by whose order. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Khea told me that he had been on 
that j)lantation, knew^ the ground exceedingly well, and 
tliat it was good ground, and that, should General 
Washington want him, he should be glad to serve him. 
General Washington desired Colouel Shreve to march 
his men over the morass, halt them on the hill, and 
refresh them. Major Howell was in the rear of the 


regiment ; lie exjn-essed himself with great warmth at 
the troops coming off, ami said he had never seen the 
like. At the head of the next column General Lee was 
himself, when General Washington rode up to him, 
with some degree of astonishment, and asked him what 
was the meaning of this 'i General Lee answered, as 
Dr. M'Henry has mentioned, Sir, Sir. I took it that 
General Lee did not hear the question distinctly. Upon 
General Washington's repeating the question. General 
Lee answered, that from a variety of contradictory 
intelligence, and that from his orders not being obeyed, 
matters were thrown into confusion, and that he did 
not chuse to beard the British army with troops in 
such a situation. He said that besides, the thing was 
against his own opinion. General Washington an- 
swered, whatever his opinion might have been, he ex- 
pected his orders would have been obeye<l, and then 
rode on towards the rear of the retreating troops. 
When General Lee mentioned that his orders had been 
disobeyed, he mentioned General Scott particularly ; he 
said General Scott had quitted a very advantageous 
position witliout orders. General Washington had not 
rodp many yards forwards from General Lee, when he 
met Lieutenant-Colonel Harrison, his secretary, who 
told him that the British army were within fifteen min- 
utes march of that place, which was the first intelli- 
gence he received of their pushing on so briskly. The 
General seemed at a loss, as he was on a piece of 
ground entirely strange to him ; I told him what Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Rhea iiad told me of his knowing the 
ground ; he desired me to go and bring him as quick as 
possilile to him; to desire Colonel Shreve to form his 
regiment on the hill, which was afterwards our main 
position, and, I think, to get the two small regiments 
of Grayson's and Patton's there also, that the line 
might be forrued as (juick as possible. I conducted 
Lieutenant-Colonel Rhea back to the General ; when I 
got there, I saw Colonel Livingston beginning to form 
his regiment along the hedge-row, where the principal 
Vol. IH.— 6 


scene of action was that day. Our retreating columns 
took up a great piece of ground, and there was one 
upon our left so far that the General thought it was a 
column of British troops entVavouring to turn our left ; 
he dersired General Cadwalliider and myself to ride over 
and see what troops they were. I then left the hill, 
and did not see General Lee afterwards. 

Q. Were our troops that you saw retiring, retiring 
in order or disorder, and in what particular manner i 

A. The two regiments we fii*st met, wei'e in some dis- 
order, the men were exceedinofly heated, and so dis- 
tressed with fatigue they could scarcely stand; the 
others, so far as their keeping their ranks in battalion 
or brigade, I tliink, were m tolerable go«xl order ; but 
as to columns respectively in great confusion, as I am 
convinced a line could not have been formed of them in 
that situation. They neither kej)t pro])er intervals, nor 
were the heads of columns ranged. 

General Lee's question. A\ as there a defile in the 
rear i 

A. There was. 

The Court adjourns till tomorrow, nine o'clock. 

JULY 15th. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 
DocTOK Griffiths being sworn : 

Q. Had you any conversation with General [Lee] 
the 2Sth of June respecting the affairs of the day { 

A. I recollect perfectly well overtaking General Lee 
the 28th of June, about one hour and a iialf after the 
action commenced, about half way between the Meet- 
ing-house and English-Town, as near as 1 can recollect, 
as he was retiring at the head of his column. I asked 
the General, when I first overtook him, what appear- 
ance or AN'hat face things wore i his answer was, as I 
exj)ected. 1 heard the General repeat the same to a 
number of persons at English-Town, who had asked 


him the same question, in almost the same word?. 
From what followed in conversation, I thought his ex- 
pectation was, that the day would be disgiacef ul to the 
American arms ; and as sure as we did attack, we 
would be beat, and he went on to assign reasons for it ; 
the superiority of the enemy in point of discipline, that 
they outflanked us in cavalry, and that they out-ma- 
nceuvred us, were urged by General Lee. General Lee 
asserted that his advice had ever been contrary to a 
general action, for the reasons I have ah'eady men- 
tioned, and that it was impolitic or imprudent to risk 
anything, when we were sure of succeedmg in the main 
point; that the connection with France would secure 
our independency, and the American arms wanted no 
additicm to their reputation. General Lee asked me 
what reasons could be assigned ? I told him it mi^ht 
add some lustre to their arms ; he said they needed 
none ; he added, that it had been determined upon in a 
council of officers, not to risk anything by an attack ; 
notwithstanding that, he had that moniing received 
positive orders from General Washington to attack. 
General Lee likewise was of o{)inion that Congress 
would be offended at it, and asked me what I thought 
Congress would think of it; I undei'stood from him 
that it was contrary to their sense. I recollect General 
Lee's complimenting the officers and men on their con- 
duct that day, and he appealed to them for his conduct 
whether he did not appear cool and possess himself. 
General Lee also mentioned he was going to English- 
Town by order of General Washington, to j)Ossess him- 
self of the heights, in case any disaster should happen 
to the army. I understood General Lee, he seemed to 
think it would l)e taken amiss, or had l)een, I don't 
recollect which, that he had retired that day, and he 
ap})ealed to the officers whether he was disconcerted, or 
whether he was cool and firm. 

Lieutenant-Colonel William Smith being sworn : 

Q. Were you with the troops under the command of 
General Lee, the 28th of June ? 


A. Yos. 

i^V U\d yon receive any orders from General Lee the 

'■•sill of tliine i 

A. \'t'«^; from General Lee and his Aidde-Camp 
Major M«»rcer. The first order I received was from 
Mu^or McMver, after Colonel Jackson's corps were re- 
tuinj^ from the field they were cannonaded on; we 
iiiurrlH»d hy the left, and in consequence the lead of the 
• ►uttalion fell to me. I met Major Mercer as I was 
rrt»«Hinfi a morass, where the grenadiers took the lead, 
uhil 1 It* 11 in the rear of the regiment, who desired me 
(d |»roc(H»d on and form on the left of the line; that 
iuMirrnl Lee had formed in the wood; we retired nearly 
upon the same road that we advanced, crossed the road 
Hud wi^nt into the field in front of the field where the 
lniUh^ was fought, where I saw a considerable number 
of troops retiring, and a body upon our left forming, 
tinieral Lee rode up to the regiment and spoke in these 
words: This blue regiment must form l)ehind this 
frnce ; the fence was tlien in our rear. I told him the 
ronunanding OflScer was in front, if the orders were 
giv<»n there the whole regiment would halt; he insisted 
upon the regiment's being formed immediately. I then 
Mti*pped out and ordered them to the right-al)Out, and 
marched them to the fence, where I formed them ; but, 
to my great sm'prize, after they were foi*med, I found 
there was y)ut one-half of the battalion, occasioned, I 
imagine, by their not heeding me in front. Colonel 
•lackson then came to me, an<l demanded the reiisou of 
my dividing the regiment. I told him that it was by 
(leneral Lee's order that I had marched the men to that 
post, and had no idea of making a separation ; he then 
ordered me to file ofE and join the other half of the bat- 
talion, which I oV)eyed. Upon Colonel Jackson's order- 
ing me off. General Lee rode up, seemingly angiy at 
our movement, being contrary to his direction, clapped 
his hand u])on his sword, and demanded the reason of 
the regiment's leaving the post. I was then in the rear, 
ran foi'waid to General Lee, told him I thought an 


apology necessary, that I had fully obeyed his ordei*s, 
but received counter ordei's from ray superior officer, 
which I was obligated to obey. Colonel Jackson and 
General Lee then had some convei*sation together, and 
this half of the regiment proceeded on to join the other. 
Before I could overtake the front of the regiment. Gen- 
eral Lee rode up to me a second time, and ordered me to 
fonn the line there ; being then in the open field, Gen- 
ei*al Lee told me he meant to effect a retreat, and I was 
stationed there to cover it. I then sent off Captain 
Jarvis, of Colonel Jackson's regiment, to Major Taylor, 
who led the riglit wing of the regiment, with orders to 
march it back again and join me immediately, which 
he did. Some time after we were formed, I observed 
His Excellency General Washington riding up ; I rode 
up to him, told him that General Lee had ordered me 
to form the line there, that my men were fatigued, and 
the sun very hot, begged his permission to advance to 
a wood, about four or five hundred yards in our front, 
where my men would be screened from the rays of the 
sun, and have the advantage of the cover of the wood 
if the enemy should advance ; His Excellency thought 
it best, and desired me to lead the regiment on ; before 
I reached the wcH)d, Colonel Jackson came up to me 
and asked me the reason of my marching the regiment; 
I gave him my reasons, and he ordered me to file off 
and retire ; then led us off the field to English-Town. 

Q. Were the troops you saw retiring, in order or dis- 
order ? 

A. They marched in order, as to their o\vn coq:>s, 
though the different corps were so close together that 
the line, in my opinion, could not be formed, without 
considerable confusion. 

Q. Did you find the line in the wood that Major 
Mercer ordered you to retire to, and form on the left of { 

A. I am led to imagine, that by the route we took, 
we accidentally avoided the post Major Mercer intended, 
as we had no j)ei'son with us to dii'ect to us the spot 
where the troops were forming. 


General Lee's question. Do you recollect whether 
the country was of such a nature, there l)enig so many 
ilenles, as to admit of the different corps marching in 
columns at such distances as to he formed into lines ? 

A. I recollect that the troops, previous to mv making 
this observation, had passed a defile, which might have 
f>eeii the occasion of their situation, but upon the 
ground they then were I think there was room suf- 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect any defile 
after the one you have mentioned in our front as wh 
were retiring ? 

A. The defile in the rear of the field of action, which 
was in our front as we were retiring, is the only one I 
know of. 

General Lee's question. At the several times you 
saw me, did I appear to be possessed of myself, being 
calm and distinct ? 

A. Perfectly so. 

Question ])y the Court. What occasioned your regi- 
ment first to retire ? 

A. We were in the open field, exposed to the cannon 
of the enemy, without any apj)arent prol)ability of our 
having the shot returned, I ol)served the front of the 
battalion inclining to the left, to take shelter in a copse 
of wood, which, when we hud gained, I went uj) to Col- 
onel Jackson, asked him what his orders were; he told 
me he had none ; I becrired him to send for some imme- 
diately ; he then left me. I foniied the regiment on 
the right, and presented a front to the enemy. Colonel 
Jackson then returned and desired me to lead the regi- 
ment over the morass upon an opposite height ; I asked 
him if he had any particular orders for it ; he answered 
he had not, but thought it best ; I begged him not to 
stir without orders; he then left me a second time, re- 
turned in the space of ten or fifteen minutes, and re- 
peated his request. I asked him if it was his orders 
for m(i to lead the regiment ; he told me he thought it 
most pro])er, and begged I would lead the regiment 


over ; I then went to the left of the battalion, and led 
the regiment not over the morass, but through it, which 
brought us a little in the rear of the groimd we had 
left, instead of going to the ground he recjuested. 
About this place we met Major Mercer. 

Question to Doctor Griffiths. Do you recollect who 
the officers were General Lee appealed to for his con- 
duct the 28th of June, at English-Town, and compli- 
mented on their conduct ? 

A. He only spoke generally, both of men and officers, 
but appealed to the officers in justification of himself. 

Q. Do you recollect who the officers were who he 
appealed to ? 

A. I do not recollect any individuals. 

Q. Was there any reply from the officers ? 

A. There were no other officers present but two 
liorhthorse officers, who were riding behind the Gene- 
ral ; whether they heard the conversation or not I don't 
know; I don't recollect any reply; there could have 
been none, because they were not appealed to. I 
understood it generally the officers under his command. 

Question to Colonel Stewart. What was the situa- 
tion of the detachment in point of ground, when you 
were nearest to the enemv, and in view of them ? 

A. On the left of the detachment was a ravine and a 
copse of woods, out of which the detachment had 
issued ; in fi'ont it appeared to be a plain of large ex- 
tent, neither, in my opinion, interspersed by hills or 
woods ; the plain continued on our right, until you 
come to the road leading fi'om the village of Freehold 
to Middletown, on the right of which road ran a fence ; 
in the rear of tlie right, as we were drawn up towards 
the enemy, stood the village of Freehold ; to the centre 
and left the ravine seemed to extend. My idea of the 
ravine is, that it began a little to the left of the village 
and extended to the left past the place we had issued 
out of the woods. 

Question to Colonel Stewart. How did the enemy 
appear to be situated in point of ground i 


A. Their situation in point of ground appeared tol^e 
the same as the ground we were drawn up on, except- 
ing that the woods appeared to me to ' be nearer our 
left than they were to tlie enemy's right. 

Question to Colonel Stewart. Did the troops you 
were with retreat in order or disorder ? 

A. In a disorderly manner. On orders being given 
to the different regiments to retreat to the village, the 
enemy were so near us in front that the regiments seemed 
to be desirous to gain the village with expedition. 
On this account the I'egiment on the left inclined, while 
they advanced in front, on the regiment which should 
have l>een on the right. My 1 )eing farther advanced at 
that time, occasioned the orders coming later to me 
than they had done to tlie other regiments. When I 
attempted to gain my position in the detachment under 
the particular command of General Wayne, I found the 
two regiments so close together that there had been no 
room left for me. 1 requested the officers wlio I saw 
with the other regiments to incline to the right and 
left, and allow me to gain my proper position. During 
tills conversation. Colonel Laurance came up, and 
begged of us to lay aside trifling disputes concerning 
rank at so critical a period. I immediately ordered 
my regiment to incline to the left, which brought me 
on the right of the whole detachment under the com- 
mand of General Lee. On m>'^ forming I was in that 
situation, and entirely separated from the other two 
regiments during that day. 

Question to Colonel Stewart. By whose orders was 
your detachment formed when you first made a halt 
and engaged the enemy ? 

A. By the particular order of General Washington 
in person. 

Question to Colonel Stewart. Did you receive any 
order at that time from General Lee or either of his 
Aids '{ 

A. I received no order from General Lee at that 
time or from either of his Aids. 


The Court adjourns till Friday, at nine o'clock, the 
17th instant, to the house of Mr. Kennedy, at Peeks- 

JULY 17tL 

Not a sufficient number of Members attending at 
Peeks-Kill, the Members present, being a Majority of 
the Court, adjourned till to-morrow at nine o'clock. 

JULY 18 th. 
The Court met at Peeks-Kill. 
Bkigadier-General Maxwell being sworn : 

Q. Did you march with the troops under the com- 
mand of General Lee the 28th of June ? 

A. I did. 

Q. Did the troops under the command of General 
Lee attack the enemy the 28th of June ? 

A. I was sent for to General Washington's quarters 
the evening of the 27th of June. General Lee and 
General Wayne were there. I understood by what 
General Washington said to General Lee, that General 
Lee w as to attack the rear of the British anuy as soon 
as he had information that the front was in motion or 
marched off ; General Washington further mentioned, 
that something might be done by giving them a verj'- 
brisk charge by some of the best troops. General 
Washington mentioned something about my troops, 
that some of them were new, and tlie want of cartouch 
boxes, and seemed to intimate that there were some 
troops titter to make a charge than them. General 
Washington further recommended that we should go to 
General Lee's quarters, at six o'clock ; the orders I got 
there were to keep in readiness to march at a moment's 
warning, in case the enemy should march off, and re- 
commending that there should be no difference respect- 
ing rank, or which should be called to the front, right 
or left. In the morning of the 28th, I think after five 
o'clock, I received orders from General Lee to put 


my })rigade in readiness to marcli immediately; I 
ordered the brigade to be reiidy to marcli, and went 
and waited on General Lee ; he seemed to be surprized 
that I was not marched, and said there were orders 
sent previous to that order, to put the l)rigade under 
orders to march immediately. General Lee informed 
me, some were already marched, and that I must 
stay 'till the last and fall in the rear. I ordered my 
brigade immediately to the ground I understood I was 
to march l)y, and found myself to be both before Gen- 
eral Wayne and General Scott, and halted my l)rigade 
to fall in the rear : when al)out one half of the troops 
were by, orders came by one of General Lee's Aids to 
march my ])rigade by the road towards Craig's mill, 
'till I met with the first direct road that led away to the 
("onrt-house, and to lialt there until further ordei-s, as 
it was suspected that the enemy were moving some part 
of their troo[)s that way. By the time I had got about 
half a mile towards that place, one of General Wash- 
ington's Aids gave orders to the rear of the brigade 
that I need go no further that way, but to return to my 
old ground, and that the front of the enemy was cer- 
tainly marched off, (the otKcers came forward and in- 
formed me of this order,) which 1 did. I came back 
to my former stati<^n, and waited there a considerable 
time before General Wayne and General Scott's troops 
gotpascme; then I marched in the rear; there were 
three ])retty large halts made before I got U]) within a 
mile of the Court-house. At that })lace the Marquis de 
la Favette came to me, told me it was General Lee's 
wisli that we should keep as much in the woods as pos- 
sible; and that as I had a small ])ai'ty of militia horse, 
desired that I would keep those horse pretty well out 
upon my ris^ht, to observe the motions of the enemy 
that they might not surprize us; I think it was there- 
abouts that r heard some firins: of cannon and small 
arms. The march was pretty raj)id from that place, 
and I followed up General Scott until I got the front 
of my brigade in the clear ground. I found when I got 


the front of my brigade in the clear ground, that the 
clear ground made an angle with a morass on my right, 
and a thick brush on my left. General Scott was 
formed in my front, in about one hundred yards ; an 
orchard was in the front of him, where I saw the 
enemy moving towards our right. I at the same time 
saw our troops on the right moving ; some said that 
they were retreating ; others, that thtjy were only mov- 
ing to the i-ight to prevent the enemy's getting round 
them ; there were some cannon shot exchanged between 
them. I did expect that General Scott would have 
moved to the right, as there was a vacancy ])etween 
him and tlie otlier troops, and would have given me an 
opportunity to form, but while I was riding up to liim, 
I saw his troops tuin about and form into columns, and 
General Scott coming to meet me. I think he told me 
our troops were retreating on the ri<:(ht, and we must 
get out of that place ; that he desired his cannon might 
go along with me, as there was only one place to get out, 
and he would get over that morass to tlie right if he could ; 
upon which I ordered my brigade to face to the right- 
about, and march back. The reason of my marching 
back was, that if I did not get over a certain causeway 
V>efore the enemy came down on the right, I should 
have been in danger of losing my cannon. When I 
came to the open ground, within sight of the Church, 
there I plainly saw our troops retreating on the right 
in several columns, and apparently to me in very good 
order. I then sent off my Quarter-Master to General 
Lee, to know if he had any orders for me ; at the same 
time my brigade was forming in the open ground by 
the woods, near the road I had gone up in. The 
Quarter-Master that I sent, came back and told me 
that General Lee ordered me to throw my brigade over 
into the woods on the right. I was very angry at him, 
and thought he had not represented to the General 
Avhere I was, or hud not taken up the orders right, but 
he persisted in it. I did expect there that the whole 
of our troops would have halted, as General Lee had 


given iinlers to throw some troops into the woods on 
the riifht. I exj>eeteil that I shi>uld have fallen into 
the av«»^mIs on the left, and there was commanding high 
ground there, where some f:f the pieces of cannon were 
halting. Imt I still saw the ci Jumns marching on, upon 
which I thoueht it mv dutv to keep tm the left with 
them. au<l on an equal pace with them; V>ut at the 
same time I rrxle off to General Lee, who I found in 
an orchard, near a house, alniut a mile this side of 
Monmrmth Court-house, and asked him if he had any 
ordei-s for me, or anv diivctions to crive me; he desired 
that I should throw my tnx>ps «>ver on the riffht into 
the w<mh1s, and I thou<rht still that he did not know 
mv situation, and told him I was on the left, and it 
was out of my jx>wer, as the rest of the columns that 
were coming up Avould break them, and go through 
them : Avell, then, said he, stav on the side where vou 
are. He first talkeil to me of stopping thi-ee regiments 
to covt-r three pieces of cannon that were there, but 
there seemed to l>e plentv of tnnips alx>ut them, and 
finallv. we a£ri't?c<l that I should cross a defile and throw 
my troops into the w<xm1s upon the left, and to watch 
a road that led fi'om Furman's mill, which I did. The 
dav Avas so excessivelv hot then, that the men were 
falliuir down : General Lee recommended that they 
miirht tret water, and iret anionif the l>ushes into the 
wo<jd. that It Avould serve the purpose of sheltering the 
men and watchinir that i-oad. ^^ hile mv briirade lay 
there, the rest of our tro<ips were marching on, both to 
the riirht and to the left, crossintr a defile that was in 
our rear. I rode out to the right, to ol>serve what sort 
of irrouiid there was there, and to see if the enemv were 
coining up after us. Upon castint? my eye over to 
where mv V)riirade was, I saw them m full march out 
of the wotkIs ; I rode back as fast as possible, and de- 
sire<l to know by Avhc>se onlei's they marched out of the 
j>lace I had stationed them : Colonel Shreve told me he 
received orders from a ceitain Major Wikoff, who, he 
said, the Marquis de la Fayette had ordered to go and 


forward all the troops over that defile, that was in our 
rear ; not being pleased with it, I halted the brigade 
some time, and then I thought proper to let Colonel 
Shreve pass over the defile with the cannon, which he 
did, and t<)ok place on the other side with his cannon, 
in the edge of the woods, a place which seemed suit- 
able to cover that defile, and I shortly after ordered 
over two other of my regiments to join him. I im- 
agined there would be a sufficient stand made there, 
and left one regiment betwixt the road and the marsh 
that was in our rear, to cover the road that led from 
Furmau's mill, and to prevent the enemy from cutting 
off our people's (who were in the rear) passage to the 
defile, which they maintained until the enemy drove 
them out. On my going to cross the last defile, I saw 
General Washington's troops going to form on the hill, 
which I was going to take possession of. On my com- 
ing up with the part of the brigade, I was informed 
that they had Ix)rd Stirling's orders to form in his rear, 
which I did. 

Q. How long were your troops halted on the ground 
in the rear of General Scott, before you left it i 

A. I suppose not ten minutes, but 1 do not believe 
it was above five minutes ; I think I had time enough 
to have formed there if there had been ground for 


Q. Did you receive any orders from General Lee 
while you were on that ground ? 

A. No. I did not receive any orders from him but 
what I have mentioned, to my knowledge. 

General Lee's question. When General Scott went 
to the rightabout, did his left flank appear to be in 
immediate danger ? 

A. It did not appear so to me. 

General Lee's question. When you expected that 
the troops would have made a halt on a certain piece 
of ground, did it occur to you that we had a defile in 
our rear ? 

A. I know there was a marsh in the rear, but did 


not know at that time that there was but only one pass- 
age over it, which was the defile. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect my asking 
you how you came to quit the wood where you thought 
you were so advantageously posted ? 

A. I do. But I think it was in the afternoon of the 
28th of June. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect when 
Colonel Shreve went up the hill, where Lord Stirling 
was posted, whether it was Mr. Wikoff who led him 
there or not ? 

A. It was not Major Wikoff. I ordered him to take 
post there. 

General Lee's question. When you saw me, did I 
appear cool, possessed of myself, or disconcerted ? 

A. 1 saw no other appearance of your being discon- 
certed than your ordering me over to the right ; but 
when I told you my situation, you were satisfied ; you 
appeared to be disturbed only on account of the situa- 
tion of the men from the heat of the day. 

Bkigade-Major Ogden being sworn : 

Q. Did you carry any orders from General Lee the 
28th of June ? 

A. Yes. I think it was soon after we passed the 
first defile, retreating better than a quarter of a mile ; 
after we had rose the hill, I was riding with General 
Maxwell, with the column ; as he had received no 
orders from General Lee, he desired me to ride to 
General Lee to know what the orders were. I rode to 
the left as we were retreating ; I informed General Lee 
that General Maxwell had received no orders, and that 
he begged to know what they were ; General Lee 
desired me to beg General Maxwell (as I understood 
it) to form his troops on the right, in a wood, as we 
wei'e retreating, which order I communicated to Gene- 
ral Maxwell. That is the only order I recollect to 
have carried from General Lee that day to General 
Maxwell. After the remainder of General Maxwell's 


brigade liad crossed the bridge, near the bridge I went 
to let General Lee know that Colonel Ogden's regiment 
was posted in a point of woods adjacent to the road 
which led to the bridge, and that he intended to give 
tlie enemy a waiin reception there. General Lee 
answered, don't tell me of what they will do, but tell 
it to me after they have done it, and General Lcq 
expressed a wish or desire that they would do it ; these 
were tlie words as near as I can recollect. The Mar- 
quis de la Fayette, as I was riding by, called to me, 
and desired me to carry an order to Colonel Stewart, 
which I think, but am not certain, was to march to the 
right, to cover the cannon and retreat. I delivered the 
exact order to Colonel Stewart that the Marquis gave 
me in less than two minutes after I received it. This 
was the only order I carried to Colonel Stewart, or 
from the Marquis. 

The Baron Steiben being sworn : 

Q. Had you any conversation with General Lee the 
28th of June, after the retreat, relative to the transac- 
tions of the day i 

A. Yes, On the 28th day of June, after having 
been reconnoiteriiig, I returned from Monmouth in 
order to make my report to the Commander-in-Chief, 
w horn I found at English-Town. Having seen that the 
enemy was marching, and doubting of our being able 
to overtake them, ha\nng seen nothing in my way but 
some militia which followed at some distance, I stopt 
at a house in English-Town to take some rest, where I 
stayed about an hour and a-half ; I aftei*wards contin- 
uedi my road to meet the Commander-in-Chief. On my 
way I heard several firings of cannon, and I made the 
greatest haste to arrive near the General, whom I found 
on the high ground, beginning to foi-m the troops as 
they arrived. It was there that I saw General Lee's 
division retreating in great disorder, followed by the 
enemy, whose strength I conceived to be 1,500 men of 
infantiy, and about 150 horse. As 1 was employed in 


placing a battery General Lee passed by me, without 
our speaking to one another. About a quarter of an 
hour after the Commander-in-Chief ordered me to stop 
the retreating troops and form them towards English- 
Town. I sent some officers forward to stop the men, 
and I went there myself, accompanied by Mr. Ternant 
and my Aids-de-Camp, to form them. As I passed 
through English-Town I found General Lee on horse- 
back before a house ; he asked me where I was going ; 
I acquainted him with my ordei*s, upon which he said 
to me that he was very glad of my having taken that 
charge upon me, for he was tired out. I assembled 
part of General Maxwell's brigade, and part of General 
Scott's detachment, which I formed behmd the creek at 
English-Town; General Maxwell was himself there. 
Scarce had the troops taken their position when Gene- 
ral Patterson arrived with three brigades of the second 
line, and desired to know where he was to be stationed; 
I placed his three brigades a little more in the rear, on 
a high ground, and I established a battery on the right 
wing, in front of the second brigade of General Small- 
wood. The cannonade continued more or less briskly 
till past five o'clock. Half an hour after ithadceaseci, 
Colonel Geniat arrived and brought me the order from 
the Commander-in-Chief that the enemy was retreating 
in confusion, and that 1 should therefore bring him a 
reinforcement. I ordered General Maxwell to take the 
command of the troops I had placed behind the creek, 
and to remain there 'till further orders. I then marched 
off with the three brigades of the second line ; as I 
passed through English-Town I met again General Lee, 
who asked me where I was a-going ; I imparted him 
the order I had received from the Commander-in-Chief, 
which I delivered in the very expressions of Colonel 
Geniat, that the enemy was retreating with confusion. 
Upon that word covfusion^ he took me up, and said 
that they were only resting themselves ; but, said he, 
afterwards, I am sure there is some misunderstanding 
in your being to advance with these troops ; I told him 


that I had received the order from Mr. Gemat; I 
ordei'ed, however, General Miihlenl)erg to halt, and sent 
for Captain Walker, my Aid-de-Camp, who repeated, 
in presence of General Lee, the order which Colonel 
Gemat had brought me ; then, said he, you are to 
march, and I went on with the troops. This is nearly 
all the conversation I had that day with General Lee. 

General Lee's question. What was the purport of 
the intelligence vou gave to General Dickinson the 28th 
of June, respectmg the strength of the enemy ? 

A. General Dickinson did not ask me what the 
strength of the enemy was, neither did I say anything 
to him about it. I told General Dickinson that the 
army was in march, and that I had seen their rear 

Monsieur Langfrang being sworn, (Monsieur Pon- 
ceau being sworn interpreter:) 

Q. Had you any conversation with General Lee the 
28th of June respecting the transactions of the day ? 

A Yes. A long time before the battle, in the in- 
stant that General Lee's division arrived before Mon- 
mouth Court-house, when the division began to form 
itself behind the creek, opposite to a road that led to 
the town. Colonel Lawrence, with whom I was formed, 
with some light-horsemen, sent me to General Lee in 
order to acquaint him that we had seen a regiment of 
the enemy entering into the wood, and that we had rip 
body to support us, which forced the light-horsemen to 
return behind the Churchyard, waiting for some in- 
fantry, which we hoped General Lee would send into 
the wood to our left. As I arrived to ask the. infantry 
of General Lee, I found him near the creek; I ac- 
quainted him with the number of the enemy who had 
thrown themselves into the wood, and told him we had 
no l)ody to support us ; that, indeed, there was some 
militia in the wood, but the militia having gone too far 
into the wood, our left wing was quite uncovered ; upon 
which General Lee told me that the militia which was 
Vol. III.— 7 


in the wood was to be called fi'om the wood ; then the 
brigade belonging to General Lee's division, which was 
forming itself on the road leading to Monmouth Court- 
house, was ordered by General Lee to return to the 
plain. The precipitation with which the order was 
given made me think that General Lee had misunder- 
stood me. I repeated over what I had said to him ; 
upon which he answered me, that he had orders from 
Congress and the General-in-Chief not to engage; upon 
which I returned to the Churchyard, where we staid 
without the enemy appearing any more. 

General Lee's question. Did you understand me, 
that I meant not to engage at all, or not to engage but 
in a particular manner i 

A. I understood that you intended not to engage at 
all, because there were only two hundred men of the 
enemy who had thrown themselves into the wood, and 
when I told you of this, your whole division retreated 
to the plain. 

The Judge Advocate produces to the Court, two let- 
ters, written by General Lee to His Excellency General 
Washington, dated the 1st of July, and the 28th of 
June^ which General Lee acknowledges were written 
by him, and which being read, are as follows : 

Camp, English' Toivn, July 1, 1778. 

Sir, — From the knowledge I have of your Excel- 
lency's character, I must conclude that nothing but the 
misinformation of some very stupid, or misrepresenta- 
tion of some very wicked person, could have occasioned 
your making use of so very singular expressions as you 
did on my coming up to the ground where you had 
taken post; they imply'dthat 1 was guilty either of 
disobedience of orders, of want of conduct, or want of 
courage ; your Excellency will, therefore, infinitely 
ol)lige me by letting me know on which of these three 
articles you ground your charge, that I may prepare 
for my justification, which, I have the happiness t<) be 
confident, I can do to the army, to the Congress, to 


America, and to the woi-ld in general. Your Excellency 
must give me leave to observe that neither yourself nor 
tliose about your person cou'd, from your situation, be 
in the least judges of tlie merits or demerits of our ma- 
noeuvres ; and, to sj>eak with a ])ecoming pride, T can 
assert, that to these manoeuvres, the success of the day 
was entirely owing. I can boldly say, that had we re 
mained on the first ground, or had we advanced, or had 
the retreat been conducted in a manner different from 
what it was, this whole army, and the interests of 
America, would have risked being sacrificed. I ever 
had, (and hope ever shall have) the greatest respect and 
veneration for General Washington ; I think him en- ^ 
dow'd with many great and good qualities ; but in this 
instance, I must pronounce that he has been guilty of 
an act of cruel injustice towards a man who certainly 
has some pretensions to the regard of ev'ry servant of 
this country ; and, I think, Sir, I have a right to de- 
mand S(^me reparation for the injury committed, and, 
unless I can obtain it, I must, in justice to myself, 
when this campaign is closed (which I believe will 
close the war), retire from a service at the head of 
which is placed a man capable of offering such injuries ; 
but, at the same time, in justice to you, I must repeat, 
that I from my soul believe, that it was not a motion 
of your own breast, but instigated by some of those 
dirty earwigs who ^vill forever insinuate themselves 
near pei'sons in high office ; for I really am convinced, 
that when General Washington acts for himself no man 
in his army will have reason to complain of injustice or 

I am, Sir, and hope I ever shall have 

reason to continue. Your most sincerely 

devoted, humble servant, 

Charles Lee. 
His Excellency General Washington. 


Ccwip^ June 27, 1778* 

Sir, — I beg your Excellency's pardon for the inac- 
curacy in mis-dating my letter. \ ou cannot afford me 
greater pleasure than in giving me the opj)ortunity of 
shewing to America the sufficiency of her respective 
servants. I trust that the teniporaiy power of office, 
and the tinsel dignity attending it, will not be a])le, by 
all the mists they can raise, to offiscate the bright rays 
of truth ; in the meantime, your Excellency can have 
no objection to my retiring from the army. 

I am, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

Charles Lee. 

General Washington. 

Major-General Lee produces a letter from His Excel- 
lency General Washington, dated June 30th, which 
being read, is as follows : 

Ilead'Q^iarters^ English-Town^ June 30, 1778. 

Sir, — I received your letter (dated through mistake 
the 1st of July), expressed, as I conceive, in terms 
highly im])roper. I am not conscious of having made 
use of any very singular expressions at the time of my 
meeting you, as you intimate. What I recollect to 
have said was dictated l)y duty and warranted by the 
occasion. As soon as circumstances will permit, you 
shall have an opportunity either of justifying yourself 
to the army, to Congress, to America, and to the world 
ill general, or of convincing them that you were guilty 
of a breach of orders, and of misbehaviour before the 
enemy on the 2bth inst. in not attacking them as you 
had been directed, and in making an unnecessaiy, dis- 
orderly, and shameful retreat. 

I am. Sir, your most oV)edient servant, 

George Wasuington. 

Major-General Lee. 

Major-General Lee rec^uests his third letter to Gene- 
ral Washington, dated June SOtli, may be read, which 
being read, is as follows : 


Camp, June 30, 1778. -' 

Sir, — Since I had the honour of addressing my letter' 
by Colonel Fitzgerald to your Excellency, I have re- 
flected on both your situation and mine, and beg leave 
to observe, that it will V)e for our mutual convenience 
that a Court of Inquiry should be immediately ordered : 
but I could wish it might be a Court-Martial, for if the 
affair is drawn into length, it may be difficult to collect 
the necessary evidences, and perhaps might bring on a 
paper war }>etwixt the adherents to }>oth parties, which 
may occasion some disagreeable feuds on the continent, 
for all are not my friends, nor all your admirers. I 
must in treat, therefore, from your love of justice, that 
you will immediately exhibit your charge, and that on 
the first halt, I may be brought to a tryal ; and am, Sir, 
your most obedient, humble servant, 

Charles Lee. 

His Excellency General Wasiiinotox. 

The Court adjourns till to-morrow, at nine o'clock. 

JULY 19th. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

The evidence being closed on the side of the prosecu- 
tion, and Major-Genend Lee being requested to make 
his defence, (lesires Captain Mercer and several other 
gentlemen may be sworn. 

Captain Mercer, Aid-deCamp to Major-General 
Lee, being sworn, says : 

On the evening of the 27th of June, soon after General 
Washington haci left English-Tovv^n, I was sent by Gen- 
eral Lee with an order to General Dickinson ; he would 
have given this order in a letter, l)ut expected I could 
explain it more fully verl)ally ; it was to inform Gen- ' 
eral Dickinson that he intended to attack the enemy as • 
soon as he could be certain of their march for Middle- * 
town ; that it was of the greatest consequence that he 
should have the earliest intelligence, and for that intelli- 

• • • , 

• •. 

• « 


• • 


^ gebtfe he should depend entirely on General Dickinson, 
'kud be governed by whatever he heard from him ; that 
y.\'h^ had been referred to him (I understood fi*om General 
^./C-Washington) for intelligence, and he, General Lee, hav- 
••\'* ing veiy few light-horse with him, and the Continental 
y troops being unacquainted with the country, it was im- 
possible he could get any certain information himself. 
General Dickinson s answer was, that General Lee might 
depend upon him for every intelligence that his situa- 
tion would give him an opportunity of procuring, and 
observed that the militia could not be depended ui)on. 
I then retui'ned to General Lee ; I remember nothing 
further of consequence, except orders being given to the 
troops to hold themselves in readiness to march at any 
hour in the night. After one o'clock in the morning 
we were waked up by a letter from General Washing- 
ton, signed by Colonel Hamilton. It was an order for 
General Lee to detach about six or eight hundred men 
as a party of observation, who should march to within 
a))out two miles of the enemy, and there wait until the 
enemy began their march, that this party should send 
continual intelligence, and should attack the enemy 
when thev began to move, but this was left to the dis- 
cretion of the officer commanding the party, if he found 
there should l)e a convenient oj)portunity without en- 
dangenng himself. / Captain Edwards, General Lee's 
Aid-de-Camp, immediately issued orders, by General 
Lee's desire, to Colonel Morgan, informing him that he, 
General Lee, intended to attack the enemy's rear the 
next morning, should they march ; and that he. Colonel 
MorsiCan, should attack their ri^rht flank on their march. 
About Ave o'clock in the morning a billet was received 
I from General Dickinson, dated at half-j)ast four, that 
[tlie enemy were then getting in motion. • Colonel Gray- 
son, who had been ordered with Scott's and Varnum's 
brigades, making about six or seven hundred men, in 
consequence of the letter from General Washington, 
had about this time marched his men into English- 
Town, and was detained some time for want of a guide, 


before lie could go off. After lie had marched, I was 
ordered by General Lee to write to the Marquis de la 
Fayette, that he might immediately put himself at the 
head of Wayne's and Scott's detachments ; likewise to 
General Maxwell, that he should put his brigade in 
motion and march them to the road that led to Free- 
hold ; I don't conceive that the troops were ready before 
eight o'clock or half-past eight, at which time General 
Lee set out from his quarters. We past the troops, 
who were about one-quarter of a mile advanced of 
English-Town, on the Freehold road, and then on their 
march. We had not proceeded far before we met an 
Aid-de-Camp of General Dickinson ; he addressed him- 
self to General Lee, and, from what I could gather, his 
message wa^^, that the enemy had, instead of marching 
off, arranged their whole army at Freehold, and begged 
of General Lee not to advance the Continental troops any 
farther than English-Town^ as he expected the enemy 
meant to attack immediately, and that he made no 
doubt they either had, or would throw a column on the 
Covenhoven road, which led from Freehold into the 
rear of our position at English-Town. I think this was 
the purport of the message, though I could not hear it 
distinctly, (jeneral Lee desired him to ride on with his 
intelligence to General Washington, and in his way to 
halt the troops ; he then rode on himself, and expi*essed 
a good deal of uneasiness at the party that was advanced 
under Colonel Grayson, who had some time before been 
ordered to quicken their pace, if possible, to get up with 
the enemy ; he desired me to ride back and beg of Gen- 
eral Wayne that he would come forward and take com' 
mand of those advanced troops, as he looked ujion it as 
a post of honour ; and likewise to order General Max- 
well's brigade, which General Lee, in his disposition, 
had ordered to march in the rear of the troops, into the 
Covenhoven road, to march to the forks of that road, 
where a road led from Craig's mill to the Court-house ; 
to take a position there for nis brigade, and wait either 
the enemy or for further orders. I executed both 


of these onler.^, delivered General Maxwell a rough 
drauorlit of the road. In niv return from General Ja^ 
to the troops, I met Colonel Meade, from his Excellency, 
who asked me if I was going to order on the troops. I 
told him no, that the enemy were advancinof, and I was 
going on other business. On my return, 1 again met 
Colonel Meade, who told me he was going back with 
General Lee's order to bring on the troops; I begged 
of him to ride to General Maxwell's brigade, who could 
not have marched far, and order them back again. I 
then made what haste I could to General Lee ; I over- 
took him on the other side of the bridge, in front of the 
position Lord Stirling af tenvai-ds took. I found a num- 
ber of pieces of intelligence had been given him with 
respect to the enemy, almost all contradictory, and 
himself and General Dickinscm engaged in a very warm 
dispute ; General Lee insisted upon it, that their prin- 
cij)le was a retreat, and General Dickinson, on the other 
hand, as confidently affirmed that they had not moved 
at all. I heard General Dickinson sav to General Lee, 
that if he moved the troops over that bridge he would 
get into a very dangerous country, from which there 
was no retreat but over that pass. About this time, 
intelligence was brought, that a party of the enemy 
we!*e movinir down, as we then stood, throusrh an orch- 
ard on the left of the morass on our left. I Avas ordered 
bv General Lee to conduct Varnunrs briirade over the 
bridge back again, in order to meet them. About this 
time 1 remember Monsieur Langfranc's coming up, and 
not a man of General Lee's command had arrived, or 
did arrive for three-cpiarters of an hour, at that ])lace, 
excejit the command of Colonel Grayson; he told the 
General something that the General seeme<l to pay no 
attention to. As the enemy were said to be on our left, 
and partly in our rear, I was sent off Avith Varnunrs 
brigade, and galloped l)efore them myself, until I got 
to the orchard, where I found them to l)e a large body 
of militia, who had lost themselves, un<lerthe command 
of Colonel Frevlinirhausen. I immediatelv returneil to 



Varnum's hngade, and ordered them to return with as 
great expedition as possible over the bridge. /__\\nien I 
regained General Lee, I found him exceed ine^lv irritated 
at the false intelligence that had been given himJ Bv 
this time, the head of the column under the Marquis 
de la Fayette, had got in view, and the General 
immediately ordered the troops on, having before dis- 
patched orders to bring on Colonel Butler's and Colonel 
Jackson's regiments to foim the advance guard ; they 
got up and were formed, and the General j)roceeded on 
with them in front, without making any kind of halt, un- 
til we got in sight of the Court-house. Colonel Butler's 
regiment was then formed opposite to the cross-road that 
led from Freehold to Amboy, and the other troops were 
ordered to face towards the Courthouse. The whole 
troops under General Le(B's command were then up ; 
Butler's and Jackson's formed the advance guard, 
Scott's and Vanium's brigades marched in front. Gene- 
ral Wayne's detachment. General Scott's detachment, 
and General Maxwell's brigade, formed the line. The 
enemy, when we got to this open ground, near the Court- 
house, appeared in view ; there appeared to be a number 
of light-horse in no kind of order, and some parties of 
foot inters])ersed in no ordei*, ranged in iroiit, and 
appeared advancing towards us and to the left. The 
General went out himself to reconnoitre, and we found 
by their moving to the left that they were in all proba- 
bility retiring ; he immediately retunied, and I under- 
stood from General Lee that Colonel Butler's regiment 
was sent off with orders to attack ; * Colonel Jackson's 
regiment would have went with them, but it was found 
that they had V)ut seventeen rounds of cartridges per 
man. General Lee ordered me to have the Sergeants of 
that regiment collected, and by a cartridge from each 
man, of the rest of the troops, to make up the deficiency. 
About this time Captain Edwards arrived, who had 
been sent by General Lee to reconnoitre to the left, who 
told General Lee that the enemy were retreating. 
General Foreman, who was with General Lee, informed 


him that he would carry liis column a road to the left 
that would ))riiig him into the front of the retreating 
enemy. I was sent immediately by General Lee to 
reconnoitre the road, to see whether cannon could be 
passed along; I found the road would answer the jnir- 
pose exceeding well. As I was advancing down the 
road I observed a large encampment of the enemy's, 
which it appeared they had jnst left, by the chairs 
standing, and water that had been just spilt. I encjuired 
at a house just over the causeway ; they told me that 
two thousand had lain there, and were moved about 
three-quartei's of an hour before, towards the Court- 
house, and that they believed they were not moved from 
the Court-house. 1 returned immediately to General 
Lee, made my report of the road, and mentioned this 
circumstance to him ; he said he supposed their cover- 
ing ]>arty might consist of that nunil)er ; he mentioned, 
likewise, if there was anv interval between them and 
their main body, he should certainly cut them oif. 
Colonel Jackson's regiment was by this time com pleated 
with cartridges, and was sent off with Colonel Malme- 
die, to conduct them to join Colonel Butler. I under- 
stood General Wayne was to connnand the whole of 
that advance {)arty ; Colonel Oswald being desirous of 
going with these troops, the General had at first or- 
dered only one piece, but on Colonel Oswald's ol>serv- 
ing that lie had only one ammunition waggon to both, 
they were both ordered on. The General then asked 
what number General Wayne's ])arty w'ould then con- 
sist of i I ol)served to him that they were about five 
hundred and fifty; he said that would not be enough 
for the jnirj)08e, and desired that anothei* regiment from 
the front mi£:ht be ordered on to reinforce them. Gene- 
ral Scott's brigade being in front. Colonel Parke's regi- 
ment was formed in the road facing the Court-house, 
and the other regiment had taken the ])lace of Colonel 
Butler s ; Colonel Parke was ordered on immediately, 
and directed the course he was to march, exj^ecting he 
would soon overtake Colonel Butler, as there was a lit- 


tie before a scattering fire of musquetry heard just in 
front. Captain Lenox now arrived from General 
Wayne, and informed General Lee that the enemy had 
halted, and he expected would attack him, and begged 
that the troops might be forwarded up to his support. 
General Lee's answer to Captain Lenox was, that it 
was nothing but the customary manoeuvre of a retreat, 
to which General Wayne should pay no kind of atten- 
tion. Captain Lenox immediately rode off, and Gene- 
ral Lee desired he might be stopped, for he had some- 
thing more to say to him ; I hallowed to Captain 
Lenox, who did not hear, but rode on ; upon that the 
General explained himself fully to me (concerning the 
manner he intended General Wayne should act, and the 
manner he intended to act, and ordered me on to Gene- 
ral Wayne. I met General Wayne in front of the 
enemy, in open ground ; Butler's regiment was at this 
time filing off to the left, and I delivered him my 
orders to the following purport : that he should advance 
with the troops under his ctmimand and attack the 
enemy in rear ; that all the General expected from his 
attack was, to halt the enemy, as he did not expect nor 
wish that the enemy should retreat to their mam body, 
or, from an opinion of his numbers, call for a reinforce- 
ment from that main body. General Wayne observed 
to me, that he had no command at all there, that he 
had no ti'oops ; I told him that there was Jackson's and 
Parke's ordered uj) to join Butler's ; he said he had 
seen nothing of them ; I answered that they would 
soon be up with him, that I would hurry them on ; I 
observed to him that General Lee was marching his 
whole column by a road that led to the left, and would, 
by that means, get into the front of the enemy and cut 
them off ; I believe I explained myself to General 
Wayne as full, if not more so, than I have done to the 
Court. General Wayne then told me, that he desired 
a piece of cannon might be immediately sent to him, 
and he wcmld engage to stop them. I then immediately 
quitted him, as I knew Colonel Oswald was coming on 


with two pieces of artillery, and endeav^oiired to return 
to the cross-road On my return, I met Colonel Jaek- 
Ispn's regiment, who had got up almost in a line with 
/Colonel Butler's regiment, and Colonel Parke's regi- 
ment in his rear some distance. I met Colonel Laurens, 
General Washington's Aid-de-Camp, and inquired of 
him where General Lee was ; he told me that he was 
marching with the whole column to the left, and ob- 
served to me that he believed General Lee had forgot 
the two pieces of artillery of Colonel Oswald's. I then 
pushed on the road to the left, and overtook the troops 
marching with great rapidity. I did not, however, 
overtake General Lee until I came to the open ground, 
where I found him filing off by columns to the left, as we 
faced the Court-house, and had halted Colonel Living- 
ston at the head of General Wayne's detachment, as I 
understood, to form the right. The three regiments in 
General Wayne's detachment. Colonel Wesson s. Colonel 
Stewart's, and Colonel Livingston's, were ordered to the 
right, and General Lee rode out to reconnoitre the 
enemy, who now appeared in full view. He rode 
toward's Colonel Oswald's pieces, who had began a 
very sharp fire on the enemy, but a much severer was 
kept up from them, as they had a great many more 
pieces. Upon taking a view of the enemy they ap- 

})eared to be marching back again towards the Court- 
louse ; they appeared in much greater numbers I 
believe than General Lee expected ; he said he believed 
he was mistaken in their strength, but as they were 
returning towards the Court-house, there would be 
no occasion to j)ush that column farthei* to the left, 
as they were in the rear already. He then ordered 
me to General Scott, who, he said, was with the front 
of the column that had l)een filed off to the left, with 
order for him to halt his column in the wood, and to 
continue there until further orders. I asked him where 
I should find General Scott, as I had not been there 
when the front of the troops had been filed off ; he 
pointed with his hand to the wood over the ravine, told 


1110 1 should find him there ; at that same time I re- 
marked to General Lee there were troops on this side 
the ravine ; I think he told me they were General Max- 
well's brigade. The troops that Avere now going to the 
right, that is, Wayne's detachment, could not be said 
to be retreating, as every step they gained they came 
nearer to the enemy, who were likewise pushing to our 
right. I made what speed I could to the ravine, but 
my horse being veiy tired I was some time agoing ; I 
found great difficulty in passing it, as it was very deep 
and very miry. When I got on the other side I found 
Colonel Jackson's regiment returning over the ravine 
airain ; I had some conversation with Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Smith before I saw Colonel Jackson ; I mentioned 
to Colonel Jackson that I was going to General Scott, 
who was in that wood to the left ; he told me that 
there were no troops there. I begged of him not to 
cross the ravine until I should return to him. Going a 
little farther in the hollow I saw Colonel Grayson at 
the head of the other regiment of Scott's brigade ; I 
asked him why he was not in the wood, (as this regi- 
ment ought to have been in front of the column that 
marched up to the left, and never had belonged to Gen- 
eral Wayne's detachment;) he told me that he had 
been halted there by General Wayne's order. I was a 
good deal surprised at that, as General Wayne had 
undei-taken to order the troops that were not in his de- 
tachment, and told Colonel Grayson that the order 
should have come through me. Colonel Grayson told 
me he would go into the woods if I ordered him ; I 
made him no answer, but rode up the hill, where I })er- 
ceived that no troops were in the woods. I took a 
transient enfilade view of the enemy ; the party nearest 
us seemed to be a brigade of artillery, who were firing, 
covered by about, as I supposed, six hundred infantry, 
and their hoi*se all halted, which were very considerable, 
in my idea ; a column of the enemy appeared at a great 
distance from me, marching down towards the Court- 
house or our right ; I supposed they might be about, 


not quite two thousand men. I looked between a 
house that was in flames and the Tvood on the left, and 
observed the head of what I concluded to be the main 
body of the enemy ; I saw but few of them, just their 
front, who were in full march towards us ; all appeared 
at a great distance from me. I was but a little time 
taking this view, and as I returned by Colonel Grayson 
I tola him to fall in the rear of Colonel Jackson, w^ho 
was retreating over the ravine the same way he came. 
I mentioned to Colonel Jackson that he had better form 
on the other side of the ravine, where I expected the 
line formed by General Maxwell's brigade was. I 
passed the ravine myself, and attempted to go to the 
Court-house along it, but our artillery having retreated, 
and the enemy being advanced, I directed my course to 
the right ; I there met Captain Edwards, the other 
Aid-deCamp, who was going over the ravine I had left, 
with orders to General Scott ; I told him that General 
Scott was not there, and by the time he got over the 
ravine there would be no troops there. I now observed 
all our troops retreating into the w«)ods from which 
they at first came out, and Captain Edwai-ds and myself, 
turning through a point of wood that was next to the 
Court-house, where the enemy had had an encampment, 
we both saw a body of troops and artillery going down 
a road, I believe the one we came up. This must 
have been General Scott's detachment, as we found 
all the troops except his detachment and Colonel 
Butler's regiment in the open field behind the Court- 
house when we came into it We rode towards the 
Courthouse, and in the lane we met General Lee read- 
ing a letter, as I afterwards understood, from Colonel 
Fitzgerald. I mentioned to him that no troops were in 
the woods where he sent me, and that, by that time all 
the men had retired from the left. His expressions of 
8ur})rize were very great, and we continued \vith him, 
he being now with General Portal, General Knox, and 
some other ofiicers. Immediately after I had given the 
General this intelligence, he. desired that I would ride 


to the Marquis de la Fayette; I mentioned to him 
that my hoi-se was exceedingly tired, and that if there 
was any one else, he had better be sent ; he tnmed to 
the light-horse officer, and ordered him to carry orders 
to tlie Marquis to retreat to the Court-liouse. I did 
not, at that time, know where the Marquis Avas, but 
shortly after saw him in the village. General Lee, 
upon sending off the light-horse officer, followed himself 
that way. I remained some distance behind, looking at 
the enemy. The troops being all retiring, part were 
ordered to be thrown into the woods on the right, and 
part into the woods on the left ; however, the extent 
being too great between the two woods, this disposition 
was countermanded, and the troops were ordered to 
continue their march to a point of view, where, I under- 
stood from General Lee, the position was to be taken. 
I carried orders for this purpose from General Lee to 
the front of different columns, that from the time I 
gave that intelligence to General Lee of the troops hav- 
ing gone off from the left, to the time I carried par- 
ticular orders relative to the retreat, was about six or 
seven minutes ; in that time the troops had got some 
distance behind the Court-house on their retreat. After 
we had passed the next rarine in our rear, the artillery 
were ordered to form on a height to the left, as it 
fronted the enemy, and a body of infantry to support 
them. I was ridmg about Avith many different orders 
to effect these purposes, until the troops w^ere all got 
over the ravine in front of Carr's house. When the 
troops had nearly all passed by Carr's house, the 
enemy's horse made a charge upon our horsemen who 
were in rear, and I expected would have attempted a 
charge on the whole rear ; I was ordered by General 
Lee to halt tlie rear and draw them up at that fence. 
1 halted one of Colonel Grayson's regiments in front of 
the fence, which Colonel Grayson afterwards removed 
into the rear of the fence, as a better position ; and by 
this time. General Lee had given over the design of 
possessing the height first discovered by Mr. Portal, a 


height which appeared at that time very advantageous 
to me. In the field the back of Carr's house, Mr. ^\ ikoff 
met liim, and I understood liad directed him to the 
height occupied afterwards by Lord Stirling, as the 
only piece of ground in our favour. The troops were 
then ordered to continue their route to the bridge wheie 
we first crossed ; in our retreat we were informed that 
General Washington had come up, and General Lee 
rode from the rear to see him. When we came up to 
General Washington I was close by General Lee, and 
heard the conversation that passed between them ; Gen- 
eral Washington first accosted General Lee, by asking 
him: What is all this ? General Lee not well hearing 
him, the question was repeated. General Washington 
in the second question asked : What all that con- 
fusion was for, and retreat? General Lee said he 
saw no confusion but what had arose from his orders 
not being properly obeyed. General Washington men- 
tioned that he had certain information that it was but 
a strong covering party of the enemy. General Lee 
rej^lied that it might be so, but they were rather 
stronger than he was, and that he did not think it was 
proj)er to risque so much, or words to that pui*port ; 
General Washington replied, then he should not have 
undertaken it, and passed by him. I had heard Gene- 
ral Washington himself giving several orders for halt- 
ing the troops, and thinking that General Lee might 
counteract him, as he was giving some orders, took the 
liberty of mentioning to him that General Washington 
had taken the command ; General Lee then said that 
he had nothing further to do, and rode after General 
Washington in front ; by the time we got up the enemy 
appeared immediately in front, and their artillery becran 
to play. General Washington seeing General Lee, 
asked him if he would take the command there, oi* he 
w^ould ; if General Lee would take the command there 
he would return to the main army to arrange it ; Gene- 
ral Lee replied that His Excellency had before given 
him the command there ; General Washington told him 




he expected he would take proper measures for cheek- 
ing the enemy there; General Lee replied that his 
orders should be obeyed, and that he would not be the 
first to leave the field, and General Washington then 
rode to the main army. General Lee immediately 
ordered that the artillery should be brought to the 
height he was on, and begged of General Knox, who 
was by, to try to halt them, as he had a greater influ- 
ence over them than he had. Colonel Livinorston's 


regiment was ordered up to support them, and was on 
hisi return, having before received orders from General 
Washington for that purpose. I was then dispatched to- 
the party in front, where General Wayne was just going^ 
into the woods ; I told him that General Lee's ordera 
were, that he should defend that post ; he asked me 
who I came from ; I mentioned that I came from Gene- 
ral Lee, who had again re-assumed the command ; he 
rode on without paying much attention, and the action 
immediately commenced in that wood ; General Lee 
then sent me into the rear to Colonel Ogden's regiment,, 
as I learn'd afterwards they were ; at the time I did 
not know what regiment it was ; I there saw the Com- 
manding Officer, w^ho I did not know, and told him. 
that General Lee's orders were, that he should defend 
that wood to the last extremity, and cover the retreat 
of the whole at the bridge ; he replied, that the enemy^ 
had got upon his left, and they were very good men, 
and it would never do to have them sacrificed there. 
I mentioned to him, as I rode off, that they were not 
in more danger than those in front. When I returned 
to General Lee, the light-horse had charged upon the 
right of the troops m the wood, and were mixed 
amongst them as they retreated out of the wood ; the 
enemy's infantry and light-horse came out of that wood 
seemingly mixed with our troops, and the action be- 
tween Colonel Livingston's regiment and General Var- 
num's l)rigade with the enemy then commenced ; they 
were soon broke by a charge of the enemy. The artil- 
Vol. III.— 8 


lery now were ordered off, and I believe in the rear of 
the whole went General Lee. 

General Lee's question. Did I not express a great 
deal of indignation when you infomied nie that all the 
troops had left the woods i 

A. You did. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect the con- 
versation that passed between me and Colonel Hamil- 
ton ? 

A. Immediately after General Washington told you 
that he expected you would check the enemy there, and 
you made the answer before mentioned. Colonel Hamil- 
ton rode up in great heat, and said to you, I will stay 
here with you, my dear General, and die with you ; let 
us all die here rather than retreat. 'O^ou answered him 
very coolly, to observe you well, to see whether you 
were discompose^, and if he did not think you fully a 
judge of what was proper to be done; that you were as 
ready to die as he, and that after you had seen the Con- 
tinental troops that were under your charge in safety, 
VQU said, I do not care how soon we ciie; Colonel 
Hamilton made answer that he thought you possessed 
•of yourself to a very high degree. 

General Lee's question. In the whole course of the 
day, excepting where I expressed my indignation at the 
disobedience of my orders, the contradictory intelli- 
gence I received, and the impertinent intrusion of ])eo- 
ple who acted in no capacity ; did I not appear, in ))oth 
fire and out, as perfectly composed as ever you saw me 
in your life ? 

A. I could not but think you exceedingly composed^v 
as several circumstances happened dming the time that 
^evidently evinced it 

Question by the Court. How came you to suppose 
the body of troops that you saw between the house in 
flames and the woods, were the main body of the 

A I observed them marching veiy wide in front, 
.and as I had before seen the party, which I judged to 


be the covering party, and then divided from them, I 
could not suppose them to be inconsiderable. 

Question by the Court. If the body you saw had 
consisted of only one hundred men, would they not 
have made the same appearance to your view ? 

A. I do not think that one hundred men might have 
been drawn up in such a manner as to have made the 
same appearance in front to my view. 

Question by the Court. Who did you deliver the 
orders to that you carried from General Lee and deliv- 
ered at the head of several columns ? 

A. The first order I carried was to the head of four 
columns ; I delivered it to Mr. Langburn, who, I under- 
stood, acted as supernumerary volunteer with the Mar- 
quis, who had then the charge of conducting these 
columns, and I delivered them to the columns m rear, 
V)ut did not know who the officers were, and also, I 
was going to General Maxwell's brigade, when I met 
General Maxwell riding himself to General Lee for 

Q. Did you communicate to General Lee the number 
of the enemy's troops, and the separate bodies of them 
you had seen ? 

Air I repoi'ted to him, that from what I had seen, 
their /lying aimy at least was there, if not their whole 

Q. At what time did you communicate this to Gene- 
ral Lee ? 

A. At the same time I told him that the troops he 
had sent me to with orders were not in the woods he 
directed me to. 

Question by the Court. Do you recollect any con- 
versation having passed between General Lee and 
General Wayne, after General Washington took the 
command ? 

A. I do not. 

The Court adjourn to North-Castle till Tuesday next, 
at ten o'clock. 


JULY 21st. 

The Court met at North-Castle, according to adjourn- 

Question to Captain Mercer. What number of the 
enemy did you perceive when they appeared to be march- 
ing back to the Court-house ? 

A. The enemy, from what I could perceive of them, 
were divided ; that party with the artilleiy were nearest 
us, and kept up a very severe cannonade, and were 
nearly, I think, m the middle of the plain ; in the rear 
of them, and on the other side of the plain, near the 
w^oods, a column of the enemy appeared, marching 
towards the Court-house, consisting of, I suppose, near 
two thousand men. 

Q. What reason had you to believe that this number 
was greater than General Lee expected i 

A. General Lee had told me before at the crossroads 
when I gave him a piece of intelligence before related, 
that he supposed their covering pai-ty consisted of fifteen 
hundred or two thousand men. I do not know what 
number of men appeared to General Lee, that were 
then in view at the time we were reconnoitring, but he 
expressed himself, they were much larger than he 
thought they were. They appeared to me, altogether, 
to be about three thousand horse and foot. 

Q. When the enemy were returning towards the 
Court-house, and General Lee said there would be no 
occasion to push the troops farther to the left, did you 
hear him give any orders to the troops under his com- 

A. We were out a reconnoitring, and no troops near 
us ; he sent me immediately afterwards with orders to 
General Scott. 

Q. Did you go to the wood where General Lee 
pointed General Scott was in ? 

A. Yes, and General Scott never could have been so 
far advanced to the left, or if he had been, he could 
have staid but a very small time. 


Q. How far did you go into the woods ? 

A, I was close to the wood, and it was a pretty open 
wood, and all the troops that were then over the ravine, 
near the enemy, was Colonel Jackson's regiment close 
to the ravine. Colonel Grayson's halted in his rear, 
both in the hollow; and in the orchard to my right 
upon the hill, and farther advanced to the left towards 
the house that was burning, I saw a party of men, that 
from what I have understood since, I believe must have 
been Colonel Butler's. 

Q. What were the particular orders you carried from 
General Lee to the front of the different columns ? 

A.tThe orders I carried to Mr. Langbom were, that 
the columns that he was with, who were at that time 
closing together to pass over the defile in front, and on 
the left of Carr's house, were, that they should march to 
a height in open view that appeared flanked by two 
woods, and there hal*. 

Q. Did you deliver any orders from General Lee to 
General Scott that day ? 

A. I did not, that I remember. 

Q. Did you see General Maxwell's brigade in the 
field when you and Captain Edwards saw a large body 
of troops marching, which you took for General Scott s 
detachment ? 

A. We were then in the woods, passing by an en- 
campment of the enemy's. The troops that I supposed 
to be General Scott's detachment, were marching down 
the road towards English-Town. I neither saw front 
or rear of them. I saw, I suppose, about the centre, 
and when we advanced as far as the plain, in open view 
of the Court-house, General Maxwell was issuing out 
into the plain with his brigade. 

Q. Did General Lee, after the troops had passed the 
last defile, make any disposition to check the enemy ? 

A. If you mean the defile in front of Lord Sterlmg's 
position. General Lee had intended to march all his 
command who were then with him, over that defile, 
and take possession of the ground that Lord Sterling 


formed on;, but General Washington coming up, de- 
stroyed that intention, by ordering General Lee to halt 
the rear of the troops, and by halting them himself who 
had not passed the bridge, and fight the enemy on that 
ground, as it was necessary to check the enemy there, 
the whole army being to be arranged. 

Q. How do you know that was his intention ? 

A. He told me himself of it, and pointed to the 
ground before Lord Sterling had arrived on it. 

Q. Were you then in sight of the ground ? 

A. I w^as; it was just before we met General Wash- 

Q. Had you any directions how to form the troops 
there ? 

A. I had no particular directions, but that they were 
to halt there. 

Q. What were the orders you were charged with for 
General Scott from General Lee ? 

A. The conception I have at present of these orders 
(I do not recollect the express words of General Lee) 
General Lee having before informed me that the column 
was to get into the front of the enemy as they were re- 
treating, or into their rear, as they were coming back, 
and observing General Lee, w^hen I overtook him in the 
open ground, filing off the column to the left up the 
skirt of the w^ood, for the purposes evidently before- 
mentioned. I understood General Lee, as he made this 
remark, that the enemy are now returning back again. 
That General Scott had answered that puipose when 
he had arrived at the wood, which I should explain to 
him, and that he should defend that wood until General 
Lee should make a farther disposition, and he should 
get his particular orders, as that scheme of getting into 
their rear would be then fully answered, and the enemy 
could not retreat again to their main body without fall- 
ing in with him. 

Q. Did you carry any orders to the seveial columns 
from General Lee, after he had relinquished his design 
of halting at the point of view^ ? 


A. I was not sent with any orders until we got near 
where (xeneral Washington was, which was in a short 
time after I understood General Lee had relinquished 
his desiijn of halting at the point of view. 

Q. Were any measures taken to find General Scott's 
detachment, after you cairied him orders from General 
Lee, and could not find him i 

A. None that I know of. 

General Lee's question. Did you not think, when 
General Scott left the wood, that our right flank was 
in greater danger than our left from the situation we 
were in ? 

A. As General Scott and General Maxwell, and the 
other troops that were to the left, made above two- 
thirds of your whole command, and the enemy seemed 
to bend their course from our left to our right, I can't 
conceive General Scott was in any danger at all. 

General Lee's question. What order was the differ- 
ent columns in when we passed the hither side of the 
ra\nne, when we were looking out for a position ? 

A. I did not see any troops that were in disorder in 
the course of the day until the party was broken on 
the hill. All the troops that I saw were in pei-fect 
good order, as far as tne heat of tlie weather would 

General Lee's question. Did I not complain to you, 
and express a wonder that there Avas not more disorder 
amongst the troops, from my being a perfect stranger 
to the Officers, and they to me ? 

A. I heard you say that you were in a shocking situ- 
ation, as you hardly knew a single man or Officer under 
your command, or his rank. 

General Lee's question. Did I not express an uneasi- 
ness at His Excellency's interfering and giving orders, 
when I understood he had, as it might clash with my 

A. I did not hear you. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect anything 
I said to General Washington, as to the disposition of 


the troops, when we came up to the hill where Lord 
Stirling's line was formed? 

A. You said you had all got there, and would be 
glad to know what His Excellency would have done 
witli them ; whether he would have you airange them 
in front, flank, or rear. 

General Lee's question. Where was I when you first 
brought me the intelligence of the troops on the left 
having been gone off, whether advancing or retreating ? 

A. I think it was on the road leading from the Court- 
house to the left, but whether to Amboy or Middletown, 
I cannot determine. You were going, I think, to the 
left, and Colonel Hamilton had just left you. 

Major-General Lee produces to the Court a letter 
from Colonel Morgan, which being read, the part ad- 
mitted as evidence is as follows : 

^^ Mannsijuare [Manaaqtba-n] Brook^ Jane 29, 1778. 

" Sir, 

" General Lee wrote me yesterday, at one o'clock in 
the evening, he intended to attack the enemy's rear 
this morning, and ordered me to attack them at the 
same time on their right flank." 

Colonel Jackson being sworn, says : 

On the morning of the 28th of June, I received orders 
from Colonel Brooks, then acting as Adjutant-General 
to General Lee's division, to march the detachment 
then imder my command, and fall in the rear of Gen- 
eral Maxwell's brigade. There was some misunder- 
standing between General Scott's detachment and Gen- 
eral Maxwell's brigade, by both coming into the road 
the same time, and I fell in the rear of General Scott's 
detachment. While I was there, I received orders 
from General Wayne's Brigade-Major to march in front 
and join the advance guard, under the command of 
Colonel Butler. I was furnished \^dtll a guide for that 
purnose, and joined him. I believe we marched on four 
or fiv J miles, more or less, when we discovered the enemy 


by Monmouth Court-house, a party of hoi-se and a party 
01 infantiy. At this place General Lee ordered us 
to form the line in front of a wood. Then General 
Lee rode towards the enemy, soon returned, and or- 
dered us to advanca Colonel Butler was ordered 
off, and I imagined at that time that he was ordered off, 
to fall in between that party at the Court-house and their 
main body. I did not hear the orders. At this time 
the division under General Lee was halted. There 
came up orders from General Wayne, for my detach- 
ment immediately to join Colonel Butler ; but before 
that I had orders from General Lee to march through 
the woods upon my left, to support Colonel Oswald 
with the artillery. Colonel Oswald was then on the 
ground with General Lee's division, and upon these 
orders coming up from General Wayne, General Lee 
ordered me oir immediately to join Colonel Butler, and 
desired Colonel Malmedie to guide me to Colonel But- 
ler, who was then, I imagined, about a mile and a half 
obli(iuely to the left in my front ; and, on my march to 
join Colonel Butler, I heard several cannon fired, but 
fi'om whom I could not tell. I found Colonel Butler 
just in the skirts of the wood, and as I came up I heard 
General Wayne order him to cross an orchard and 
march on towards the enemy, and ordered me to follow 
him. That body of the enemy that I saw at first at 
Monmouth Court-house had joined a body of men that 
I took to be their main body. The body I saw at Mon- 
mouth Court-house I took to be a decoying party, on 
account of my seeing the body, which I took to be their 
main body, so near. Upon the order being given. Col- 
onel Butler's men marched on, and my men having 
marched a mile and a half on the run. Colonel Butler 
was about one hundred yards in front of me. Colonel 
Butler had crossed the orchard, and got into the plain ; 
just as I had got into the orchard I saw a large column 
of dust about four or five himdred yards upon my right 
flank. The first that I knew what it was, was one of 
our light-horsemen rode up and said : For God's sake 


form, or we are cut to pieces. I immediately ordered 
the divisions to wheel to the right and form the line. 
Colonel Butler at this time had formed the line about 
one hundred yards upon my left. Onr light-horsemen 
rode upon each flank and went into the rear, and went 
off. TJie British light-horse pursued them until they 
got to within about forty yards of us, when they dis- 
covered us and discharged their pistols. Some of my 
men were going to fire, but I ordered them not to fire 
until I had given them orders. As soon as the British 
light-horsemen fired Colonel Butler's men fired, and the 
enemy rode off as fast as they could ride. I stood in 
that position, as near as I can recollect, for about ten 
minutes, when I received orders from Colonel Butler to 
join him and march on. I wheeled into divisions and 
marched on. Colonel Butler marched on likewise. I 
was still about one hundred yards in his rear. At this 
time I could see a very heavy body of the enemy as far 
as I could see from their left to their right As Colo- 
nel Butler and myself were marching across this field, 
the enemy opened two pieces of cannon, or more, on 
Colonel Butler and myself. After they fired several 
shot Colonel Butler went into the woods. The second 
shot they fired struck the arm off of one of my grena- 
diers. The reason I imagined Colonel Butler went into 
the woods l)efore me, was his being so much nearer to 
the woods than I was. After the enemy had fired ten 
or twelve shot, and seeing nobody in my front, I ordered 
my detachment to oblique to the left, and form under 
cover of the wood that I imagined Colonel Butler went 
into. In fonning them as the road run, it threw my 
left down into a valley. At this time the enemy had 
ceased firing where they had at first opened their can- 
non on Colonel Butler and myself, and advanced, 
throuijrh a field, a very heavy column from their left, of 
what a])peared with a considerable body of horse. I 
believe it was before this time that Colonel Oswald 
came up to the orchard where we w^ere at first charged, 
began to play on them, and exchanged a number of 


shot. A body of men (under the command of Colonel 
Grayson, as I understood afterwards) marched upon 
the left of Colonel Oswald. This body of the enemy 
kept advancing. The cannonade ceased between Colo- 
nel Osw^ald and the enemy, and I did not like my situa- 
tion at all, as there was a morass directly in my rear, 
and a height that commanded the morass. I called 
Lieutenant-Colonel Smith to me, who was the next in 
command in tlie detachment ; I asked him if he did not 
think it best for me to cross that morass and post myself 
upon the height that commanded it. He asked me if 
I liad any orders. I told him no. He made reply, for 
God's sake don't move without you have orders. I 
either desired him, or he offered himself, to go and see 
if there was any person to give me orders ; he returned 
in a few minutes and told me there was no person there. 
Knowing my situation to be exceeding baa, I told him, 
then I'll risque it, and I'll cross the morass ; I ordered 
the detachment immediately to move. As we were 
moving, a gentleman came up to me, and asked me if 
I had seen General Scott or General Wayne. I told 
him I had not for some time. The gentleman rode 
towards the enemy, retui'ued in a few mniutes, and told 
me to retreat into the woods, the woods being on my 
left flank. When I retired the men to go across 
the morass, I marched from the left, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Smith led the detachment. When we had got 
well in the woods, the detachment halted ; I went up 
to Lieutenant-Colonel Smith to know the reason of their 
halting ; he told me the men were beat out, and could 
go no f ui'ther, and thought it was best to halt there 
eight or ten minutes to give them breath. After laying 
in the woods, I believe, one-quarter of an hour, (no 
cannon being fired at this time, nor did we know what 
was going on) a gentleman came up and asked me if I 
w^anted to get out of the woods, and that the enemy 
were close m our rear. We formed and marched on 
until we came up Avith General Lee's division again. 
General Lee ordered us, when we got in a plain to 


form against a rail fence. After we had formed there, 
he ordered lis to retire to a fence in the rear, and or- 
dered us to form there again. After this General Lee, 
if I recollect right, ordered me to retire, and said, for I 
mean to effect a retreat, (but before this Colonel 
Oswald came up with his cannon and cannonaded the 
enemy.) This was on a plain about a mile on this side 
the Court-house, between the Court-house and English- 
Town. I retreated then into a wood in the rear of this 
plain, stopped there a little time, and those in my rear 
called out, Colonel Jackson, march on ! march on ! and 
I don't recollect that I halted the men again until I got 
in the rear of English-Town. 

General Lee's que^ion. Do you recollect the reason 
of that e^reat interval between your detachment and 
Colonel Butler's? 

A. The first of my seeing vou, I rode up and told 
you that my men had but thirteen or fourteen rounds 
of cartridges. At this time Colonel Butler was ordered 
off. You told me that you would see that I was fur- 
nished, by taking one cartridge from each man, and you 
ordered me to send my sergeants out for that purpose, 
with one of your Aid-de-Camps. After this you or- 
dered me on, and I gave you lor answer that my ser- 
feants had not returned from collecting the cartridges, 
n a few minutes afterwards they returned, and the 
cartridges were delivered to the men, and we marched 
off in a very short time afterwards, I don't know but 
instantly. This, I believe, was the reason of the in- 

General Lee's (question. Had you not every reason, 
from my appearance, and from what was done, to sup- 
pose that I was determined to attack ? 

A. I had. I remember when I got through the 
wood, where I fell in with Colonel Butler, I saw the 
head of the column advancing, which I took to be the 
head of your division, through the road. I remember 
when we had formed the line in the wood, several ])er- 
sons came up and brought intelligence, some that the 


enemy were retiring, and some that they were ad- 
vancing; and you said that the enemy were either 
playing a game at choss, or you intended to play a game 
of chess with them. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect the person 
who came up to you and asked you if you had seen 
General Scott or General Wayne 'i 

A. Two or three days after the 28th of June, Cap- 
tain Mercer asked me if I did not recollect some con- 
versation that passed between him and me, when he 
came up and asked me if I had seen General Scott or 
General Wayne. I told him I recollected that a per- 
son came up to me and asked me if I had seen General 
Scott or General Wayne, but did not recollect the per- 
son ; he told me he was the person. 

Q. What reason had you to suppose that was the 
main body of the enemy, that the body that you took 
for a decoy had joined ? 

A. The reason that I took them for the main body 
was, because I could not suppose they could afford so 
large a rear guard as that body appeared to me ; as far 
as 1 could see them they appeared to be moving. The 
front was advancing, and the whole appeared in motion. 
The horse that charged might have been the same horse 
that I saw near Monmouth Court-house. 

Q. When you were marching on after Colonel Butler 
you mention to have seen a very heavy column of the 
enemy, as far as you could see from left to right ; was 
this the same body you have mentioned you took for 
the main body of the enemy ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Do you know the gentleman who offered to con- 
duct you out of the woods ? 

A. I don't ; he was a countiyman. 

Q. Could you estimate the number of this body of 
the enemy ? 

A. 1 should have supposed the apparent number to 
be at least three thousand men, but as I saw no end to 
them, I had reason to suppose there were more. 

The Court adjourns till to-morrow, at nine o'clock. 


JULY 22d. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Olny being sworn, says : 

That on the morning of the 28th of Jime last, as 
Generals Scott and Vamum's brigades, under command 
of Major-General Lee, were advancing towards the 
enemy at Monmouth, after they had marched about a 
half a mile below the Meeting-house, on the road lead- 
ing to Monmouth, a small skiiinish happened a little in 
front between the British horse and militia, in Avhich 
the militia gave way. On seeing this. Major Edwards, 
one of General Lee's Aids, directed Colonel Durkee, the 
then commanding Officer, to post the troops as advan- 
tageously as possible, until he could ride into the rear 
and inform the General what was passing in front. 
The troops were accordingly formed on a height in 
front of the Meetinghouse and in rear of a morass. 
The General soon arrived in front, and after some little 
time the troops were ordered to advance, but intelli- 
gence was brought that the enemy were advancing upon 
us with cavalry and a heavy column of infantry, which 
induced the General to order the troops to retire over 
the morass and take post on their former ground. Soon 
after this the General received information that the 
enemy were not advancing. We were then ordered to 
move on again, but had not advanced far, when more 
authentic intelligence was brought that the enemy were 
actually advancmg with a strong body of infantry and 
cavalry. On this we were ordered to our former ground, 
but l)efore we had passed the morass, information was 
brought that the enemy were not within a mile of us, 
and were not advancing ; this occasioned a halt for a 
few minutes, and the General, seeing that no kind of 
confidence could be placed in the intelligence he had 
received, swore he would not depend any longer on 
such bad intelligence, but would march the troops on 
until he saw the enemy, and after marching about a half 
a mile a scattering fire began with some troops in front. 


We then took a road through the wood on our left, 
which brought us into the cleared land, in full view of 
the j)laius in front of the Court-house, where we dis- 
covered a large body of the enemy paraded in the 
edge of the wood on the further side of the plain. We 
were halted, and a small body of men appeared in 
front on the plain near the wood, who the General took 
to be the enemy, and accordingly detached me, with 
Colonel Angel's regiment, with. orders to go through 
the wood on our left and attack them ; Init on a near 
approach I found them to be our men. I then marched 
the regiment out on the plain and formed the line in 
view of the enemy, where 1 halted a few minutes ; but 
seeing the enemy were advancing in column from their 
left, and our troops retiring, I then wheeled the regi- 
ment by platoons to the right, and marched off to joui 
the brigade, but before I had joined them 1 was met 
by General Lee and General Wayne, who ordered me 
to move on and cover the artillerv under Colonel 
Oswald, then playing upon the enemy ; but before I 
came up to the ground the artilleiy had moved off. I 
then fell in ancl joined the brigade ; by this time we 
had two men killed and two wounded with cannon 
shot, in Colonel Angel's regiment, which, however, did 
not disorder or confuse the troops. After retiring near 
a mile, the troops were halted for about ten or hfteen 
minutes in an orchard, to refresh themselves, but the 
enemy gaining fast upon us we retired across a morass 
and formed upon the height north of the orchard. The 
artillery at this time being a little in our rear, and as 
the enemy were within reach, two pieces, I think, under 
Captain Cook were ordered to move up and play upon 
them. Soon after this I saw the troops were again 
retiring, and General Varnum's brigade received orders 
from General Wayne to retire along the road on our 
left to cover the artillery in front, or it wouhl be lost ; 
we immediately filed oft to the left, and before we had 
formed the line. Colonel Hamilton rode up to the bri- 
gade and ordered us to form mth all possible dispatch, 


or he feared the artillery in front would be lost, and by 
the time we had formed the enemy had advanced ./ithin 
good miisquet shot, and the two pieces of artillery had 
ffot nearly to the fence, and as soon as they had passed 
mto our rear we began the fire, and after exchanging 
about ten rounds with them we were obliged to retreat 
with considerable loss on both sides, but not till after 
the enemy had outflanked us and had advanced quite 
up to the fence by which we were formed. We then 
made the best retreat in our power into the rear of the 
army, where we collected as many of the brigade as 
we could find, and marched back to English-Town. 

General Lee's question. What corps did you find 
when you marched up to attack them and found to be 
our people ? 

A. 1 don't know what corps, but I think it was the 
cores commanded by Colonel Butler. 

General Lee's question. In the course of the day, do 
you think our troops wei-e in good order, considering 
circumstances ? 

A. Yes. LThe men were exceedingly fatigued, and 
there were but few stragglers. ] All tne other men that 
I saw kept their platoons and" divisions with the great- 
est exactness. 

General Lee's question. Did you observe in me 
clearness, precision and attention, through the course 
of the ^day, or the reverse ? 

A. Whenever I saw you you appeared to possess as 
much coolness and calmness as any Officer^'! was ever 
in action with, and you did not appear to be con- 

Q. How many men of the enemy could you perceive 
that were paraded in the skirt of wood ? 

A. I took these that were moving? and those that 
were halted, to be between four and five thousand. 

Q. Did you see a body of the enemy move from this 
skirt of wood towards the Court-house ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. How great a number did you suppose them to be ? 


A. I took them to be upwards of fifteen hundred or 
near two thousand men; these were all that I saw 
move from that skirt of wood. 

Q. By whose orders did you retire to English-Town ? 

A._JW e had no particular orders, but after we had 
got in the rear of the army, Colonel Russel, who then 
commanded the brigade, seeing that a great number of 
the troops were retiring towards English-Town, told, as 
the men were exceedingly dry, to form what men we 
could and march where we could get water, which was 
to English-Town. 

Q. In your retreat did you meet with any part of 
the main army that was advancing ? 

A. I do not recollect that we did. 

Q. Which road did you take I 

A. We took the same road we advanced on in the 
morning ; the plain road, I took it, from Euglish-Town 
to Monmouth Court-house. 

Q. Was the main body of the aniiy formed ? 

A. Yes ; I saw two lines which we passed by. 

Q. What part of the retreating troops were you in ? 

A. Nearly in the rear. 

Q. Were you present when General Lee received the 
several pieces of intelligence respecting the enemy, or 
did you understand it by hear-say i 

A. I was present. 

Mr. Gilman being sworn : 

General Lee's <j[uestion. Do you recollect bringing 
a message to me from General Washington, and the 
time ? 

A. In the morning of the 28th of Jime, I think al)out 
ten o'clock, the Adjutant-General, by order of His Ex- 
cellency, sent me to you to see how far you had ad- 
vanced, and to get information of the intelligence you 
had of the enemy. I came up with you about a half a 
mile beyond the morass, which afterwards parted the 
enemy's army and ours. I asked vou what intelligence 

you had of the enemy. You told uie you had been 
Vol. UI.— 9 


deceived by false intelligence, which had detained you; 
first hearing tliat the enemy were formed in the village, 
then that they were inarching off, then more authentic 
intelligence that they were formed in the village. I 
then asked you where the enemy were. Colonel Lau- 
rance, who was then present, told me if I would ride 
with him lie would shew me. We rode near the vil- 
lage, and found the rear guard was just marching down 
the road to Middletown. I then proceeded down by 
the left flank of the enemy, where I discov^ered five or 
six men of ours without an oflScer. I advanced with 
these men near the enemy. Upon our near approach, 
they began a scattering fire, ana their cavalry made a 
charge upon some horse in our rear. An ofticer then 
came from General Wayne with some orders to the 
party with me ; upon which I left them and went to 
you, who I found on the right near the road leading to 
Monmouth Court-house, informed you I was going 
to His Excellency, and asked you what I should tell 
him. You replied I might tell him they had attacked 
the rear guard of the enemy, and you were in hopes of 
cutting them off. I then went back to General Wash- 
ington, who I met at the head of a column, about one 
mile back of Freehold Meeting-house. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect my asking 
you where the General was, and your telling me ? 

A. Upon my first seeing you 1 think you asked me 
where General Washington was. I told you I left him 
at English-Town. 

Question by the Court. When you speak of a scat- 
tering fire, was that fire made on the party with you ? 

A. Yes ; there were no other troops near at that 
time, that I saw. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Oswald being swoni, says : 

The evening of the 26th of June, at Cranbeiy, I 
joined the two brigades, Scott's and Varnum's, with four 
pieces of artillery. About one half an hour aftei* one 
in the morning of the 28th^ w^e were assembled about 


three-quarters of a mile in the rear of English-Town, 
on the heights, and marched into English-Town, where 
we were detained some time for want of a guide. The 
guide being procured, the two brigades, Scott's and 
Varnum's, under the command of Colonel Grayson, 
advanced towards Monmouth Court-house, having 
about six light-horsemen in front. As we were ad- 
vancing we overtook several small pai-ties of militia 
falling in in a very confused manner. When we 
j'eached the first morass just in front of the position, 
afterwards taken by Lord Stirling, we then received 
intelligence that the enemy were near us. Colonel 
Grayson and myself rode up in front upon the hill, 
where we found General Dickinson with a few militia, 
I heard General Dickinson advise Colonel Grayson not 
to let the troops advance any farther, until he had 
made himself farther acquainted with the situation of 
the enemy ; that as there were two roads which led 
from Monmouth Court-house, one on our right, the 
other on our left, to English-Town, it might be an 
easy matter for the enemy to advance a column 
of their troops on each road, and cut off our reti'eat 
to English-Town. By this time I discovered Colonel 
Durkee marching the troops and taking post on the 
ground where Lord Stirling afterwards took his posi- 
tion. Here we had several false alarms, that the enemy 
were advancing ; and then that they were not advanc- 
ing, and a small fire with the militia in our front Col- 
onel Grayson then advanced with his regiment, where 
the militia were engaged, and I followed with one 

Eiece of artillery, and when we got in front of the 
edge-row we saw no enemy. General Lee, General 
Wayne, and some other officers came up at this time, 
and rode off, as I suppose, to reconnoitre the enemy ; 
soon after they returned, I received orders from Gen- 
eral Lee, as I understood, and Colonel Grayson's regi- 
ment, to join the two Imgades, Scott's and Varnum's, 
upon the hill. At this bridge we had crossed and re- 
crossed two or three times, in consequence of the intelli- 


gence we Lad received being vague and uncertain. Col 
onel Butler's detachment, and Colonel Jackson's regi- 
ment came up, and were advanced in our front in tlhe 
road ; Scott s and Vamum's brigades followed them. 
After marching about a mile and a half or two miles, we 
were halted while* some dispositions w^ere making for 
an attack. After getting to within about a half a mile 
of the Court-house we were informed the enemy were 
there. I then rode out into the plain and discovered 
their infantrj^ and horse at the Court-house ; then or- 
dered a party of artillerymen to make a breach in a 
fence, and moved out with the two pieces I had in front. 
General Lee, who had l)een, I suppose, recoimoitring 
the enemy, rode up to me and ordered me back into 
the woods again, saying, that he did not mean to shew 
them that we had any artillery there, or to shew our- 
selves for the present; some little halt being made re- 
specting some ammunition for Colonel Jackson, Colonel 
Grayson's regiment, who had been ordered to cover my 
two pieces I nad in front, was then ordered off under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Farke, to support Colonel Butler, 
who was then advanced on the left ; some part of Col- 
onel Jackson's regiment was then brought m front, as 
A cover for the two pieces of artillery. We were then 
ordered to advance on a I'oad leading nearly to the left, 
and running nearly parallel to the road the enemy were 
in. As it appeared to be a difficult road for artilleiy, 
and apprehensive that some accident might haj)])en to 
the pieces from the badness of the road, being miry, 
rough, and uneven, I was halted in the main road, and 
riding out into the plain, I saw General Lee again, and 
requested that I might be permitted to go out in the 
plain with my pieces, for that I understood from a gen- 
tleman who was on horseback, that the enemy were re- 
treating, and the enemy's rear in some confusion. I 
obtained the General's consent for one piece to go ; l>ut on 
observing as I had but one ammunition wagon for l^oth 
pieces, and that I must either go with both or none, he 
consented to my going with both pieces, and observed 


to an officer of light-horse, that a party of the enemy, 
wliich was judged to be their rear guard were ours, for 
that every man of them could be taken, and then rode 
off into the woods, as I supposed, to give orders for the 
attack. I brought out my two pieces into the plain, and 
advanced towards the enemy's rear, when I discovered a 
body of the enemy's horse charge some persons who ap- 
peared in no regular order on horseback, and pursue 
them near a skirt of wood, where I heard a discharge 
from our infantry, and saw the enemy's light-horse gal- 
lop off in great ha^te. As they were retiring I fired four 
or five shot at them from two field pieces, and sup- 
posing that the enemy were still retreating, I ordered 
Captain Wells to limber up the pieces, Avhile I rode on 
in front to explore a morass to see if I could find a place 
to pass over with my pieces. I was informed by some 
gentlemen on hoi'seback, that there was a causeway over 
it, over which I passed with the two pieces, advanced 
into a field of grain near the enemy, when I discovered 
they had formed in a line. Before I passed over the 
causeway, Colonel Malmedie called to me, and told me 
I should lose my pieces if I crossed over there, for there 
were no infantry on my right. I desired that he would 
ride into the Avoods and acquaint the commanding 
Officer there that I was going over the morass, and that 
it was necessary I should have some infantry to cover 
me. He rode off into the woods, I supposed for the 
j^urpose, and I passed ov^er the morass into the grain 
field ; I then unlimbered and l)egan to cannonade the 
enemy, and discovered a small body of our infantry 
coming out of the woods on our leit obliquing to my 
right in front of mv pieces, which I first took for a cov- 
ering party, but found they had passed me. I was 
under a necessity of ceasing firing until they had passed 
my front ; at the same time I observed General Var- 
num's brigade obliquing in the same manner in my rear, 
Avith their two pieces of artillery. Here I had two 
Tneu killed and two horses, and the men falling down 
by the pieces, two or three at a time, fatigued by the 


lieat, so that one of my pieces was disabled, and as I 
saw no infantry on my right or left but what were re- 
tiring, I availed myself oi the opportunity of retreating 
under cover of General Varnum s Vjrigade that was just 
in my rear. A little in front of the causeway General 
Lee came up and asked the reason of my retreating ? I 
told him my round shot was all expended, and one piece 
disabled. He asked me if I had no more ammunition ? 
I replied that the ammunition w^agon had not been 
brought over the causeway, and as it was large and im- 
wieldy I had left an officer to bring it over, but he did 
not get to the causeway with it before we retired over. 
The enemy begun to return the cannonade as soon as I 
had fired, and continued to cannonade us as we retired, 
and they were advancing. I then formed the pieces 
that were wnth General Varnum's brigade, the two 
pieces that I brought over, and two pieces under Cap- 
tain Seward in an orchard, and began to cannonade a 
column of the enemy that was advancing on our right. 
That part of the enemy that had formed in line, which 
I at first cannonaded, it appeared to me, had formed in 
column, as there appeared to be two columns advanc- 
ing at a little distance from each other. The enemy's 
artillery continued cannonading us. Here I remained 
for some minutes, when I saw the infantry still retiring, 
and a number of persons on horseback crying out : Re- 
treat ! retreat ! for that they w^ere advancing on our 
right and left in columns. I ordered my pieces limbered 
up and to move off. I had scarcely got in motion when 
Geneial Lee came up and ordered me to place the })ieces 
there again, and remain till I had his ordei's to retreat. 
I renewed the cannonade ac^ain, and not manv minutes 
after two or three French gentlemen from the Marquis 
de la Fayette's suite came and ordered me to retreat 
with the pieces. I paid no regard to the order, but con- 
tinued the cannonade. Shortly after this the Marquis 
came u[) himself, and ordered me to retreat. I told him I 
had General Lee's orders to remain there, until I had his 
order to retreat, and could not retreat. He told me that 


he had it in command from General Lee that I should 
retreat, and told me that the enemy were advancing on 
my left, and that there was none of our infantiy on 
the right, and that I had not a moment to lose, and 
introduced a French gentleman to me who was to 
conduct me to an eminence with my pieces in the 
rear. After I had formed upon this eminence, which 
I suppose was about a quarter of a mile in the rear 
of where I was, I discovered on my left General Max- 
well's brigade and General Scott's detachment coming 
out of the wood upon this eminence I had formed for 
action, and had taken two pieces fi-om General Scott's 
detachment and two from General Maxwell's brigade, 
making in all ten. I heard some person just behind me 
ask one of my oflScers what we were doing there with 
the pieces, an<d why we did not retreat I turned my 
horse al)out and saw it was Genei-al Maxwell I told 
him I had my ordei*8 ; upon which he said, very well, 
and went off. S<x>n after Colonel Livingston came up, 
and told me that he was ordered there as a coveiing party 
to the artillery. Here again I received vanous orders 
to retreat ivom sundiy persons ; one of the persons, I 
imderstood, was in the Marquis de la Fayette s family. 
Just after Major Shaw came up, and said it was 
General Lee's order that I should retreat He nyde 
off, and I pi-epared U^ retreat Just l>efore I had crossed 
the defile near Carr's house, several persons were calling 
out, drive on ! drive on ! As I supposed they had no 
business there, I paid no regard to them, but ordered 
the drivers to drive steadily on. Just after I ascended 
the hill on the plain. Major Shaw came up, and said it 
was General Knox's order I should fonn my pieces 
there ; but before this, I had ordered the two pieces I 
had taken from Scott's detachment, and the two that I 
had taken from General Maxwell's brigade, to join 
their brigade again. The two pieces under Captain 
Wells bein^ disabled by the men's suffering from the 
heat, I hadl)efore sent off, so that I had but four piiH'es 
left Here it was I saw Colonel Fitzgerald ; I told 


liiiii that my men were fatigued, two or three dropping 
down at the time by the side of the pieces, that I slioula 
be glad if I could get some fresh artillery brought up. 
He referred me to General Knox, who was just in my 
rear. The General came up to me, and I repeated my 
request, that I should have some fresh artillery sent up 
to me. He told me that I should have them. By this 
time the enemy were pretty near. I observed that Col- 
onel Livingston, who had been ordered to cover me, 
was not in my front, as I faced the enemy. I supposed he 
had gone into the woods on my lef^ where Colonel 
Stewart and Lieutenant-Colonel Ramsay were ; but I 
afterwards understood he was at the hedge-row, where 
General Varnum's brigade was. The enemy brought 
up their artillery and the cannonade began between 
both parties, and the infantiy were engagea in the skirt 
of wood. After engaging some time, I received ordei-s 
from General Knox to retreat. Captain Seward, who 
was on the right, moved off the ground ; I brought up 
the rear with Captain Cooke's two pieces, and placed 
them on an eminence, just in the rear of the hedge-row, 
where I found the troops formed. Through the breaches 
that had been made in the fence I discharged several 
grapes of shot at the enemy, the infantry being engaged 
with them ; General Lee at this time being a little dis- 
tance on my right, observed that the enemy's horse 
were charging our right, and asked where were our horse. 
The enemy's horse then being on our right, and the in- 
fantry retiring from the fence, General Knox came up 
and gave orders for the pieces to go off. I retired with 
the two last pieces to the hill where Lord Stirling had 
taken his position. 

General Lee's question. When I came up to you, 
you informed me that you wanted round shot at the 
time when the first retreat was made, were you not con- 
vinced, from everything I said, and from everything I 
did, that the first reti*eat was without my orders, with- 
out my knowledge, and contrary to my inclination 2 

A. From your asking me that question, the reason of 


my retreating, I should suppose you did not intend to 

General Lee's question. Are you ceilain that it was 
General Scott's detachment and General Maxwell's 
brigade that you saw come out of the wood, or their 
artillery only i 

A. 1 am not certain that it w^as Genei'al Scott's de- 
tachment, but I got their artiller}% and there was a 
body of men with the two pieces ; but I am certain it 
was General Maxwell's brigade. 

General Lee's question. As Colonel Fitzgerald, when 
he spoke of your eml>arrassment, with resj)ect to your 
pieces not being supported, do you recollect that then 
there was a body oi men on your left in the wood to 
supjwrt them ? 

A. I recollect that there was a body of infantry 
engaged in the woods on my left then, but I do not 
recollect they had particular orders to suppoi*t my ar- 

General Lee's question. Through the whole course 
of the day, did I not shew the greatest attention, and 
take the greatest care, that the battalions should sup- 
port the artillery, and the artillery the l)attalions, in all 
my retrograde manceuvi'es? 

AijColonel Grayson's regiment w^as first ordered to 
support me ; when he was ordered off, part of Colonel 
Jackson's regiment Avas ordei'ed to support my ]>ieces, 
and Colonel Livingston's regiment was ordered likewise 
for that purj)ose, all at different times, by you, and I 
had great attention j)aid to the suj)port of the artillery 
by you. ' "^ 

General Lee's question. Through the whole process 
of the day, and upon all occasions, was I not perfectly 
com]>osjed and trancpiil, and fully possessed myself? 

A. You aj)peared calm and intrepid, and seemed 
fully to be possessed of yourself. 

Q. What disposition was made for attacking the 
enemy after you had marched about a mile and a half 
or two miles, and halted i 


A. Colonel Butler's corps and Colonel Jackson's 
corps were adv^anced on the enemy's left flank in the 
woods, and I heard General Wayne address himself to 
the regiment that was in front of the artillery, which I 
suppose Y^^as Colonel Grayson's, and say: Now, my 
brave Virginians, you are the boys that are to make 
the attack, or charge ; liere are the artillery and the 
infantry in your rear, who are to support you. 

Question l)y the Court. How great was the number 
of the enemy that you discovered when they were ad- 
vancing in two columns ? 

A. 1 supposed the number might be between two 
and three thousand ; I formed no exact judgment of 
the matter. 

Question V>y the Court. Was the whole of your ar- 
tillery at all times well supported i 

A. I was exposed at different times ; no infantry 
being on my right or left, that I discovered, and had 
the enemy charged with spirit, I think I must inevi- 
tably have lost some pieces upon the last hill, when the 
enemy's horse had charged upon the right, when Gene- 
ral Lee asked where were our horse ? The infantry 
being retiring, had the enemy pushed on with spirit 
they nuist have taken the two pieces. 

Q. When General Lee came up and ordered you to 
place your artillery there again after you had began to re- 
treat, nad you any infantry then to cover your artillery ? 

A. I discovered none on my right, but just before 
observed General Vamum's brigade go into the woods 
on my left 

Q. Did you apply to General Lee then for any infan- 
try to cover your artillery ? 

A. I did not. 

Question by the Court. When Colonel Livingston 
came up and told you he was ordered to the support of 
the artilleiy, did he tell you by whom ? 

A. I think he said by General Lee. 

Question by the Court. Did you hear Colonel Liv- 
ingston receive any orders to leave your pieces i 


A. No. I suppose that, not observing that I had 
halted my pieces, and seeing the infantry retreating, he 
retreated liJkewise ; but I understood afterwards he had 
formed at the hedge-row with General Varnum's bri- 
gade. I afterwards got in the rear of the hedge-row, 
and the infantry there were my support. 

General Lee's question. Do you attribute your pieces 
being exposed to any want of precaution in me, the 
fatigue of your troops, to accident, or to the nature of 
the manoeuvre ? 

A.uSTot from any want of precaution in you, but from 
the heat and fatigue of the day, both men and hoi^ses 
being exceedingly fatigued. 

General Lee's question. Was not I in as great danger 
myself as your pieces were when the enemy s light-horse 
attacked on the right ? 

A. You were. 

General Lee's question. When the troops retreated, 
was I not one of the last that remained on the field ? 

A. You were. 

The Court adjourns till to-morrow, at nine o'clock. 

JULY 23d. 
The Court met according to adjournment. 
Brigadier-General du Portal being sworn : 

General Lee's question. Did I not intreat you to go 
up and find out a proper position in our rear ? 

A. Yes. 

General Lee's question. Did I give you any reason 
for not going myself ? 

A. I cio not remember. 

General Lee's question. When I rode up to the posi 
tion which you discovered, which you thought was a 
proper one to halt and face on for some time, did you 
not observe to me, that that spot was commanded by 
one in front, which Avas separated from us by a raWne, 
and that 1 should place some pieces of cannon likewise 
there ? 


A. That spot in front was a part of the position I 
meant you should take. 

General Lee's question. Did I not afterwards request 
you to go with Mr. Wykoff to look for a position { 

A. I don't remember that vou did. 

General Lee's question. Did I not request you after- 
wards to ride off with some gentleman to look for a 
position ? 

A- I don't remember that you did. 

Captain Cumpiton, of the artillery, being sworn, says : 

Tlie action of the 28th of June, I was in General 
Lee's division, under the command of Captain Cook, 
with two pieces of artillery, attached to General Var- 
num's brigade. We left English-Town about sunrise, 
or a little after, on our march to Monmouth Court- 
house. The brigade halted about a half a mile in fi'ont 
of -Freehold Meeting-house, with a morass in oui' front. 
We got our pieces m readiness for action ; about this 
time tliere was a skirmish in a skirt of woods in our 
front, that was said to be by the militia and the enemy's 
light-horse. I saw the militia retreat, form and advance 
on the enemy. Shortly after this I saw General Scott's 
brigade, commanded bv Colonel Grayson, advance. In 
about ten minutes after this, we received orders to 
limber our pieces, and advance with the brigade we 
were attached to. We rose a hill in front of tlie 
morass about three hundred yards ; we there formed, 
unlimbered our pieces. Shortly after this I saw several 
persons riding up, among whom was a light-horseman ; 
he said the enemy were advancing. We received 
orders to limber our pieces and retire with the brigade. 
By the time the front of the brigade had got to the 
morass, I saw General Wayne coming in great haste ; 
he ordered the brigade to halt ; in consequence of which 
I suppose the brigade was halted. Shortly after this I 
saw General Lee ; a person, who appeared to be an 
inhabitant, rode up to General Lee, informed him 
there was a heavy column of the enemy advancing on 


our rio^lit. General Lee desired him to go about his 
business, and not again to V)ring him any such reports. 
General Lee then ordered his Aid, Captain Mercer, to 
go himself, and see what number of the enemy there 
were : Captain Mercer returned in a short time and 
confirmed the intelligence the General had just before 
received. We then received orders to retire in rear of 
the morass, took the same ground we not long before 
had occupied. A short time after this we received 
orders to advance ; after advancing about a mile I saw 
General Scott coming out of a field on our right, he 
said the enemy were in full view. We halted at this 
place in the road ; at this time there was a scatter- 
mg fire upon our right. As we were halted I went 
up to the side of the fence, I saw several light-horse- 
men that were exchanging shot singly at each other ; 
we then received orders to advance, met with a forks 
of a road, and were ordered to take the left-hand 
ground. We advanced on the road about three-quar- 
ters of a mile, halted in a ploughed field, unlimbered 
our pieces ; there soon began a fire on our right, in a 
skirt of Avoods. Soon after this there began a cannon- 
ade from the enemy ; we received orders to file off Vjy 
the right. This time the enemy were marching ob- 
liquely to their left ; we crossed a morass, and retired 
near to Monmouth Court-house, we there formed ; by 
this time the enemy were in front of us. A cannonade 
began from both parties. The enemy then filed off by 
their right; I then lost sight of them by the means of a 
piece of woods that was m^the left of our front. I saw 
General Lee on our left ;/he asked, who in the name of 
God had ordered the troops from a piece of woods he 
had placed them in. / At this time Colonel Oswald was 
the nearest to him of any oflScer I saw ; I did not hear 
any person gWe the General an answe^jO>ut his ex- 
pression was, /his orders not being obeyeS might or 
would prove the ruin of the day. /We received orders 
to march, retired upon a hill that was to the right of 
us in our front as we were retiring. By this time our 


men were very much fatigued that were at the pieces. 
Some French gentlemen rode up. Colonel Oswald at 
that time informed the gentlemen who rode up, that 
the men were so much fatigued, it would be necessary 
that they should form in a wood for the benefit of the 
shade. We moved from that place, but not in a wood. 
Shortly after this our pieces were ordered to advance. 
We advanced ; a cannonade between the enemy and us 
began ; the cannonade lasted until we had firect a dozen 
or fifteen rounds from each piece. We again received 
ordei*s to retire, fell in the rear of a piece of wood. 
After we had halted, I saw a person, who I took to be 
General Maxwell, coming from the wood which was in 
our front ; he asked Colonel Oswald or Captain Cooke, 
why the pieces of artillery did not move off. He was 
answered by one of the gentlemen, that we were 
ordered there with them. Shortly after this there was 
a considerable skirmish in the woods in our front ; our 
people gave way. General Knox was very near me, 
and ordered me to give the enemy a shot ; I told him I 
was fearful of injuring our own }>eople, but, to the best 
my remembrance, he told me I might fire over their 
heads, or to their right, or any way so as not to injure 
our people, but to check the enemy. We then lim- 
bered our pieces and retired a short distance, formed 
in the rear of a party of troops that were there to cover 
our pieces. The enemy were advancing ; a very heavy 
fire began of musquetry in our fi'ont and on our left 
wing. General Knox gave us second orders to give 
the enemy a shot. I believe our people made a stand 
there for about two minutes ; after giving them two or 
three charges of grape shot, we were ordered to retire. 
The main body of oar army, as I supposed it to be, 
were then formed upon an eminence in the rear of the 
morass we first crossed in the morning. We retired 
across the morass. By the time we had crossed it with 
our pieces, there began a cannonade from our army 
who were on the hill. When I joined the main body 
of the army, my men were so much fatigued, and only 


eight of them left with two pieces, that Colonel Oswald 
ordered me off the field. 

General Lee's question. \J)o you recollect any point 
of time in the day that I did not pay a proper atten- 
tion to the support of the pieces that you were near ?^ 

A. I don't recollect any part of tne day that the 
pieces were not well supported. 

General Lee's question. Don't you think that the 
two pieces of Captain Cook's, near the hedge-row, were 
well supported by a cross-fire of infantry from the 
woods ? 

A. Yes. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect Colonel 
Fitzgerald's coming up and speaking to you or Captain 

A. I don't recollect it. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks being sworn, says : 

About one o'clock in the morning of the 28th of 
June last, General Lee received an order from His 
Excellency General Washington, for detaching six or 
eight hundred men to advance near the enemy, view 
their situation, give him fi'equent intelligence, and in 
case they retired to attack them ; for which purpose, 
as the two brigades of Scott and Varnum's consisted 
of about six hundred, orders were sent to Colonel 
Grayson, as the commanding officer of the two bri- 
gades, to hold himself in readiness to march at the 
shoitest notice. At about six o'clock they began their 
march from English-Town towards Monmouth Court- 
house, having been detained for want of guides. At 
about this time General Lee sent me with orders to 
the several detachments and Maxwell's brigade, to 
prepare for marching immediately, leaving their 
packs behind under proper guard. At about seven 
they followed the two brigades just mentioned in the 
following order — to wit, Wayne's and Scott's detach- 
ments. Maxwell's brigade and Jackson's corps. As soon 
as the whole were in motion, I immediately rode for- 


ward towards Monmouth, and found General Lee at 
the Meeting-house of Freehohl. Intelligence was now 
received by means of the militia, that the main body of 
the enemy moved from the Court-house at two o'clock, 
and that only a light party of infantry and cavalry re- 
mained to cover their retreat. General Lee now rode 
on to the height bey^ond that on which General Wash- 
ington afterwards formed the main body of the army, 
where he found General Dickenson and a few militia. 
Colonel Oswald, with two pieces of artillery, and one 
battalion of Scott's brigade to cover them. Upon Gen- 
eral Lee's mentioning to General Dickenson the iiitelli- 
fence he had received concerning the enemy's retreat, 
e discovered a considerable warmth, and insisted in 
the strongest terms that the main body of the enemy 
were still at the Court house, and that the situation of the 
troops now on the ground where he was, was by no means 
secure, as there was but one avenue by which the troops 

^ould retire to the main body, or words to that effect. 

jDuring the period of General Lee's staying on this 

I height, intelligence of the most contradictory nature was 
momently brought him ; at one time the enemy Avill be 
turning our flanks ; at another pushing in front ; and 

^ow precipitately retreating. This occasioned Varnum's 
origade and part of Scott's to pass and repass the 
bridge in the rear of the height several times, as it was 
agreed on all hands that it was by no means warrant- 
able to risque an action on this ground. During these 
marchings and coimter-marchings, the Marquis de la 
Fayette, at the head of the main body of General Lee's 
troops, arrived. General Lee now said, he would pay 
no farther regard to intelligence, but would immediately 
march the whole of his command, and endeavour to find 
the enemy and know their situation himself; for this 
purpose Jackson 8 detachment was ordered from the 
rear to join the advance corps, the command of which 
was, about this time, given to General Wayne. The 
column now began and continued its march for al)out a 
mile, till within view of Monmouth Court-house, at 


which place there was a lialt for near an hour, in which 
interval General Lee reconnoitred the enemy, Avho put 
on the app(^aranee of retiring from the Court-house, 
somewhat precipitately and m disorder. When they 
had retreated about a mile fi'om the Court-house on the 
Middletown road, they halted and fomied on liigh 
ground. General Lee observed, that if the body now 
m view were all, or near all that were left to cover the 
retreat of the enemy's main body, instead of pushing 
their rear and obliging them to retire to their main 
body, he would have the whole prisoners, to effect 
which, after having a road pointed out to him for that 
purpose, he marched his mam body to gain the enemy's 
rear, leaving General Wayne, with two or three pieces 
of artillery and two or tliree battalions, to amuse the 
enemy in front, but not to push them lest his project 
should be frustrated. After having passed the woods 
and coming into the plain, about a mile below the 
Courthouse, being at some little distance from the 
front, I observed the head of General Lee's column 
filing to the right towards the Court-house. The whole 
of the column that I perceived kept on in the same di- 
rection till the whole made a halt, which lasted about 
ten or fifteen minutes. A cannonade had now taken 
place between us and the enemy, who at this time 
appeared to be gaining the Court-house and our right ; 
at this time the column began its march, and I inune- 
diately rode to the left to see what position the troops 
were in. When I came to the rear of the left of Scott's 
detachment, I perceived a very great interval between 
that and the front of MaxAvell's brigade, which at this 
time Avere halted in the wood. Upon General Maxwell's 
seeing me, he asked me if I had any ordei-s from Gene- 
ral Lee. I told him I had not, but I wanted to know 
of him why he had made that halt. He said it was 
thouii^ht adviseable for him to come out of the Avood, as 
his men were under cover and out of the reach of the 
enemy's cannon. General Scott came up about this 

time, and observed that our troops were going off the 
Vol. III.— 10 


field towards the Court-house. Upon General Scott's 
mentioning this, and asking me whether it was the ease, 
I tohl him I knew nothing of it if it was so. Upon 
this I left that ground and rode towards the causeway, 
just in the rear of which I observed Colonel Oswald 
with some artillery ; during this time all the columns, 
except Maxwell's brigade, were mai'ching to the right. 
After having seen several battalions pass the ravine, I 
returned to the point of woods where General Maxwell 
was, and found General Scott and General Maxwell 
standing together. General Maxwell again asked me 
if I had any orders ; I told him I had not. General 
Scott says to me, the army is retreating. Upon which 
I addressed myself to General Maxwell, and begged 
leave to suggest to him, that if that was the case, I 
thought the point of woods a little in his front was a 
very advantageous situation for him to post his brigade 
to cover the retreat. General Scott, wno stood l)y, re- 
plied, that no time was to be lost, and in terms that 
rather more than implied advice, insisted that Maxwell's 
brigade should go to the rightabout, and march off the 
ground, which, V>y General Maxwell's order, accord- 
mgly was done. As soon as this was done, I rode to 
the j)oint of woods where I advised Maxwell's brigade 
to ])e posted, and observed the most of our troops who 
filed to the right had passed the ravine, and that the 
enemy were advancing. Upon observing the enemy 
and our troops about eight or ten minutes, I returned 
to the gi'ouna where the liead of Maxwell's brigade had 
stood, but finding no troops in sight, I rode towards the 
ravine to find General Lee ; but, finding the enemy 
were pushing that way, thought best to retuin, 
came round the ravine, partly in the route that General 
Maxwell had took, and found General Lee about a 
quarter of a mile on this side of the Coiu't-house, com- 
ing off the ground with a number of columns of his 
troops. Upon riding up to the General, he says to me, 
you see our situation, but I am determined to make the 
best of a bad bargain. The troops, in a very easy. 


moderate and regular way, continued their march until 
they had passed the ravine in front of Carr's house, 
where they were ordered to halt. After tarrying on 
that ground about one half an hour, I observed some of 
the battalions marching ofE the ground. Upon asking 
several officers who appeared to command the bat- 
talions, why they left the ground, they said it was by / 
General Lee's and the Marquis de la Fayette's order. ^ 
About this time the enemy's cavalry made a very 
sudden and rapid charge upon some parties of our 
horse, who were reconnoitring the enemy in front. I 
tarried on that ground till the whole of our troops 
had left it. After which I rode to the height upon 
which the principal action afterwards took place,, 
where I found General Lee and some artillery, Var- 
num's brigade, Livingston's, and several other bat> 
talions. Upon asking General Lee his intention, he 
desired me to form these troops (pointing to Varnum's 
brigade) as quick as possiI)le. After having gone 
through the line, I observed General Washington rising 
the height, and General Lee riding to meet him. Just 
as they had met I came up with General Lee. General 
Washmgton asked General Lee what the meaning of 
all this was : General Lee answered, the contradictory 
intelligence, and his orders not being obeyed, was the 
reason of his finding them in that situation. His Eic- 
cellency shewing considerable warmth, and said, he was 
very sorry that General Lee undertook the command un- 
less he meant to fight the enemy, (or words to that effect.)* 
General Lee observed that it was his private opinion 
that it was not for the interest of the army, or America^ 
I can't say which, to have a general action brought on, 
but notwithstanding was willing to obey his orders at 
all times, but in the situation he had been, he thought 
it by no means waiTantable to bring on an action, or 
words to that effect. After this. General Washington 
left General Lee, was gone some considerable time, and 
returned. During General Washington's absence, Gen^ 
eral Lee observed some troops on tne right in motion ; 


upon enquiring the reason, he was told by one of his 
aids, that it was done by General Washington's order. 
At this time, being asked whether some battalion should 
move from its present ground, General Lee replied, that 
he supposed General W ashington meant he should have 
no farther command, and he could not say that he had 
a right to give any ordeis respecting the matter. Just 
after this, General Wasliington returned, and asked 
General Lee if he would command on that gi*onnd or 
not ; if he would, he would return to the main body, 
and have them formed upon the next height. General 
Lee replied, that it was equal with him where lie com- 
manded. Upon this General Washington rode off the 
field ; General Lee rode to the right I never saw him 
afterwards on the field but at a distance. The enemy 
at this time had advanced towards our right with their 
artilleiy, and, a heavy cannonade between them and our 
artillery had been commenced for some time, and our 
troops who were engaged in the wooils were pushed 
out, the enemy being veiy close upon them. 

General Lee's question. As you acted as Adjutant- 
Genei'al t6 my department, what number of men had I 
in the field that day under my command ? 

A. General Scott's detachment, when it left the main 
"body, consisted of about fourteen hundred and fortv ; 
General Wayne's of one thcmsand, General Maxwelrs 
brigade, as he told me, of nine hundred, Varnum's bri- 
gacfe of a little better than three hundred; Colonel 
Olny, at the time, told me it was between three hundred 
and three hundred and fifty ; Scott's brigade was less 
than three hundred, Jackson's detachment of two hun- 
di'ed. When you marched from English-Town you 
ordered all the packs to be left, under the care oi 
proper guards. After the trcx)ps had paraded to inarch 
at English-Town, I ro<le through the different encamp- 
ments and found the basfgage very strongly guarded. 
Upon riding up to several and enquiring the reason of 
«o many men being there, I was answered in general 
that they were men who were lame, sick, and those 


who were worn out with tlie march the day before, to- 
l^rether with the guards who were left with the baggage. 
The idea that I then formed of those left on the ground 
was, that they were between four and five hundred in 
the whole. 

General Lee's question. Did you advise General 
Scott and General Maxwell to remain on the ground ? 

A. I observed to General Maxwell more than once, 
that the point of woods in his front was a very excel- 
lent post for him to take -while the troops were passing 
that ravine, as the enemy would not push the rear of 
the troops who were passing it, while that ground was 
occupied by his brigade. At the same time, upon the 
Captain of his artillery enquiring whether that ground 
was suitable for artillery, I observed to him that it 
would command the enemy partly in flank. I had no 
conversation with General Scott upon that subject. 

General Lee's question. Did General Scott hear you 
address yourself to General Maxwell ? 

A. By what followed I then supposed he did. 

General Lee's question. Do you know the ground 
which General Scott's troops occupied at the time you 
had this conversation with General Maxwell and Gen- 
eral Scott? 

A. Four minutes before the convei'sation took place 
I knew the ground they occupied. 

General Lee's question. Did you hear me express 
^reat indignation at General Scott's quitting his ground ? 
[^ A, I did repeatedly. 

General Lee's question. Did I not giv^e you every 
reason, from what I said and from what I did, to think 
that the first retreat was against my inclination and 
without my orders? 

iV. Upon my first coming up with you, some distance 
this side of the Court-house, after the retreat began, 
you informed me that several battalions had retired 
without your knowledge, and contraiy to your orders ; 
l)ut observed, althougli it was extremely unsoldierly, 
yet you believed it to be a ver}' happy thing for the 


aiinjv^s the enemy wei'e so much superior botli in in- 
fantry and cavalry, in cavalry especially ; for had that 
not been the case, that whole detachment at least must 
have been sacrificed, or words to that effect 

The Court adjourns till to-morrow, at nine o'clock. 

JULY 24th. 
The Court met according to adjournment. 

General Lee's question to Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks. 
Did you see General Scott, and at what point of time, 
at the point of wood to which the head of tlie column 
had been marched ? 

A. I saw him and part of his troops in the wood. 
The head of the column at this time had arrived nearly 
in front of the orchard where Colonel Oswald after- 
wards took his post. When I first came into tlie open 
ground I rode up to the point of woods to take a view 
of the enemy ; after tarrying there a few minutes, I re- 
turned and rode to the right of the column as far as 
Varnum's brigade ; after tariying there a few minutes 
and returning, I found the whole of, as I supposed. 
General Scott's detachment in the plain field to the 
right of the wood ; his right battalion near the I'avine 
and his left near the woods. I never saw him in the 
woods after that. 

General Lee's question. How long a time was it 
after you left the spot where General Scott and Gen- 
eral Maxwell stood, before you returned to it again ? 

A. I think it was not more than eight or ten minutes. 

General Lee's question. Do you think that spot was 
evacuated before the troops on the right made any re- 
trograde manoeuvre? 

A. When I returned the second time from the right 
to General Maxwell's brigade, the idea I formed in my 
own mind, from what I saw of the troops on the right, 
was, that their point of view to which they were march- 
ing was rather in fi"ont of the village. When I saw 
Maxwell's brigade foi'ming a disposition to retire, it was 


the first time that I had any thoughts of the troops 
Oeaving the ground. From what I observed, the retreat 
/ began upon the left. 

General Lee's question. When I rode to the right, 
had you a horse to accompany me ? 

A. I had not, and gave up every idea of keeping 
with you. 

General Lee's question. Where and on what busi- 
ness do you think I went about when I quitted you ? 

A. You went to the right towards where our troops 
were, as I supposed, to see that they were properly dis- 
posed of. 

General Lee's question. Did you, through the whole 
process of the day, upon any occasion, observe that I 
was the least disconcerted or discomposed ; and did I 
not appear to you as thoroughly possessed of myself as 
in common ordinary conversation ? 

A. You appeared, through the whole course of the 
day, to be as cool and deliberate^] and thoroughly to 
possess yourself, as I can have any idea of. 

Q. When General Scott observed that our troops 
were going off the field towards the Court-house, did 
you observe any of our troops in motion at that time ? 

A. When 1 came from the right the line was halted. 
I could not see our troops when General Scott made 
that observation to me. 

Q. How long was it after you left General Scott 
before vou saw our column marching to the right ? 

A. li^ot more than six or eight minutes. 

Q. After that observation of General Scott, that the 
troops were going off, did you see General Scott's 
troops ? 

A. I did. 

Q. Did you see them in motion after that ? 

A. When I retm-ned from the right the second 
time, and came, as I observed yesterday, to the ground 
between General Scott's detacnment and General Max- 
well's brigade, the conversation ensued which I men- 
tioned yesterday, concerning General Maxwell's going 


off the ground. As soon as General Maxwell's brigade 
went to the rightabout, I went to the point of wood, 
and, looking to the right, observed l^'cott's detachment, 
or troops that I supposed to be his, going off the ground 
obliquely to the rear. 

Q. Did you observe any other troops in motion at 
that time ? 

A. T did not. The cannonade was still continued. 
■ The ti'oops on the right might have begun their retreat, 
\ but I did not observe it. 

^ Q. Were you in such a situation that you could have 
observed them had they begun their retreat ? 

-A. I was. 

Q. Were the troops on the right ordered to retreat 

in consequence of General Scott's detachment and Gen- 

ei'al Maxwell's brigade moving off to the left ? 

^ ^A. I know nothing but what General Lee told me, 

I that they retired without his orders, which obliged him 

I to leave the ground. ' 

— " Question by the Court. From the observations you 
made, which wing did the enemy press hardest upon, 
the rififht or left ? 

A. They appeared to be endeavouring to gain the 
right. I did not see that any were pressed upon hard. 

Question by the Court. Was any person sent to halt 
the retiring trooj)s upon the left, that you knew ? 

A. Not to my knowledge ? 

Question by the Court. Did General Lee communi- 
cate to you his plan of cutting off that body of the 
enemy in the rear ? 

A. 7 He communicated to me no other plan than 
marching his main body into the supposed interval 
between the main body of the enemy and their cover- 
ing party.^ 

Question l>y the Court. Had General Scott or Gen- 
eral Maxwell any particular orders from General Lee 
respecting his plan, to your knowledge ? 

A. They were ordered to march on in the column in 
theii' proper places. I do not know of any other orders 


being given. I informed tlie commanding Officers of 
most of the regiments General Lee's intention ; that 
the enemy were on our right, and tliat General Lee 
expected to surround and take their rear guard. 

Question by tlie Court. When you speak of troops 
goini^ from the riglit towards the ^ Court-liouse, what 
corps >vere tliey ? 

A. Vanium's brigade, and General Wayne's detach- 
ment tliat he commanded when he left Cranberiy. 

Question V)y the Court Did General Scott's troops 
pass the causeway in their retreat i 

A. Some of tliem might. I could not see tlie whole 
on account of a very heavy dust ; but by the aj^pear- 
ance I supposed they passed the ravine on the left of 
the causeway. 

Question by the Court. IIow long was it after they 
passed, that you were going to pass tne ravine, thought 
it not safe, and went round i 

A. It was about five or six minutes. I was about 
ten at the point of woods, and they passed while I was 

Question by the Court. When you saw the troops 
upon the right going to the right towards the Court- 
house, if a retrograde manoeuvre had been then deter- 
mined upon, would it not have been as well effected by 
the way of the Court-house as any other way ? 

A. I think it would not. 

General Lee's question. Li the situation the enemy 
were then in, in going towards the Court-house, did we 
not go nearer to them rather than farther off i 

A. It was ; as l)oth, I supposed, were aiming at the 

(jeneral Lee's (piestion. When I communicated my 
intention of cutting off the enemy's rear, did you not 
understand I intended to take the command in person 
of the column General Scott was at the head of, and 
not to leave it to him ? 

A. You ol)served to me, about the time you connnu- 
nicated to me your intention, that the column that went 



to the left you should command in person. A little 
before this you observed that you did not know but 
some of the general officers might take umbrage at 
their disposition, not having their places according to 
their rank ; but, as you meant to command the main 
body in person, thought they could make no difficulty 
or have no objection. 

General Lee's question. In our situation was it pos- 
sible that any general could, without seeing more of the 
enemy, form a precise plan ? 

A. It was impossible, on the ground that you were 
on when you reconnoitred the enemy, to see the rear 
of the enemy's left or the road that led to their rear, 
so that a precise plan could not be formed. As you 
marched at the head of the column yourself, I took it 
for granted you meant to make your dispositions as 
you found the enemy. 

General Lee's question. When I left the column did 
you not understand I went to the right to reconnoitre 
the enemy ? 

A. I saw you in front reconnoitring, and expected 
you back to that point of woods again. 

Question by the Court. After the first retreat did 
the troops form again ? 

A. After the troops had retired down to a fence near 
Carr's house, they were ordered to halt. After they 
had halted a few minutes I observed some troops on the 
right of the house, which I took to be Varnum's bri- 
gade, forming in the orchard. Soon after the enemy's 
cavaliy made a charge and came near that house, at 
which time I saw some troops, who they were I can't 
say, form the line and advance up to the fence. 

Question by the Court. Was Maxwell's brigade or 
Scott's detachment there ? 

A. Neither of them, to my knowledge. 

Question by the Court. - How long were the troops 
formed between the end of the first retreat and begin- 
ning of the second ? 

A. I cannot precisely determine, but I should judge 
about an hour. 


Question by the Court ■ Who gave the orders for the 
second retreat ? 

A I never lieard any orders given for it) 

Question by the Court What troops began the 
second retreat ? 

A. As I was advanced of Carr's house during almost 
the whole time of that halt, I could not determine ; but 
the first that I saw, was Colonel Stewart's regiment, 
with the Marquis de la Fayette at the head of it I 
supposed by aj)pearance8, that several battalions had 
moved off before them. 

Question by the Court After General Lee informed 
you of his intention to command the left of the army in 
person, did he join these troops ? 

A. Yes, immediately. 

Q. When you saw General Scott's detachment going 
off the ground obliquely to the rear, did you see the 
enemy at that time ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Had their front entered the village at Monmouth 
Court-house ? 

A. I think it had not 

Q. Were they marching towards the Court-house ? 

A. They were not steady in their march^ sometimes 
would move, and sometimes halted. 

Question by the Court How great a number of the 
enemy did you see when our troops began to retreat ? 

A. I don't remember through the whole course of the 
day to have attempted to have made an estimate of their 
number. From General Dickinson's intelligence, and 
on seeing from the point of woods, instead of a light 
party, as was represented by the militia and others who 
brought intelligence, a heavy column moving towards 
the Court-house, or to our right, the idea at once struck 
me that their manoeuvre for retiring from the Court- 
house in the manner they did, was a mere finesse, and 
that their whole army was then on the ground. 

Q. Did the troops retreat in order or disorder, and in 
what particular manner ? 


A. The retreat from the Court-house to Carr's liouse 
was performed, as far as I saw it, with great delibera- 
tion and in good order ; they retired in general, I l)e- 
lieve, in columns, by battalions, some l>y brigade. From 
Carr's house I did not see them so particularly, until 
they got on the other hill, being in the rear of them.j 

Brigadier-General Knox being sworn, says : 

The first I saw of General Lee was near Monmouth 
Court-house, to which place I was sent by his Excel- 
lency General Washington, for a particular purj)Ose. 
The troops of General Lee were then marching by their 
right in platoons or sub-divisions, and appeared to })e 
gaining the Court-house; the enemy were at some dis- 
tance, and appeared to be extending their front ; the 
enemy were firing from some pieces of cannon, which 
was returned by some pieces under the direction of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Oswald. I had a short conversation 
with General Lee, and mentioned to him a morass which 
lay directly in his rear. He replied, that he was not 
sufficiently informed of the ground before tlmt he came 
on it, and, that the morass Avas a disagreeable circum- 
stanc^e, but that he would endeavour to make the best of 
it ; I left him at this time, and returned to His Excel- 
lency General Washington. I saw General Lee a second 
time, about a mile and a half in the rear of the Court- 
house, on this side of the ravine, opposite to which the 
British troops had retreated and took post in the even- 
ing. His Excellency General Washington and he were 
together ; His Excellency expressed much displeasure 
to General Lee at the situation of affairs, and though 
I cannot ascertain the precise words, the sentiment was, 
that either he or ^-leneral Lee nuist take the command 
of these troops, speaking of the troops that were j)re- 
sent, and that it must be in an instant determination ; 
if you will take the command, continued His Excellency, 
I will go into the rear and form the army; General 
Lee replied, I will do everything in my power, and 
your Excellency may rely upon it that I myself will be 


one of the last men off the field. His Excellency 
directed nie to have some cannon brought up and played 
upon the enemy, who were then cannonadmg from the 
opposite road, and directed me to^stay with them, and 
then galloped off to the rear, (l asked General Lee 
why the troops retreated from the Court-house ; he 
answered that he could not tell, for he never saw such 
disorder, for ev^ery one took upon himself to give orders 
without his knowledge?/ Some of the cannon which had 
been out with the detachment were then on the field. I 
ordered my Brigade-Major, Mr. Shaw, to bring them 
up to a pai'ticular advantageous piece of ground. Gen- 
eral Lee, in very forcible terms, pressed me to hasten 
them, and added that the place was very favourable. In 
two or three minutes, Lieutenant-Colonel Oswald, with 
Captain Stewart's and Cajitain Cook's companies, with 
four pieces of artillery, ^vere placed and began to fire 
on the enemy, and continued to do so, untill the troops 
placed in the woods on the left were driven from it. 
We had no troops on the right as a covering party. I 
applied to General Lee in strong terms for a paj-ty on 
the right ; he said he was very sensible of the propriety 
of the measure, and desired me to take the first troops 
I could get to place there. I asked permission to place 
Colonel Jackson's detachment there ; he said it would 
be very agreeable to him, and he wished that I would; 
but before it could be effected we were obliged to re- 
treat, by reason of the wood being carried on our left, 
and the enemy's horse crossing the ravine and marching 
to our right. The field pieces were repeatedly unlim- 
bered and fired on the enemy, who advanced on our front 
in a scattered manner. Major Shaw, not readily find- 
ing Colonel Jackson's detachment, desired Lieutenant- 
Colonel Olny to take post at a hedge fence in front of 
a bridge over which we retreated. At this time, the 
enemy's light-horse were making a rapid movement 
upon our right, and we had retired with the pieces in 
the rear of the hedge fence, where General Lee desired 
me to have the artillery unlimbered, and observed at 


the same time, that a particular knoll to which I was 
directing them, was formed by nature for the purpose. 
After a few cannon sliot being fired at this T)lace, the 
party posted at the hedge-row under Colonel Olny were 
attacked in front, and from a wood on the left, and the 
movements of the enemy's horse on our right obliged us 
to retire over the bridge in front of the grounds where 
Lord Stirling, wdth the left wing of the army, took 
post. After this I did not see General Lee. 

General Lee's question. LDo you recollect when I 
complained to you of everybody's giving orders, that I 
complained to you of some officei-s disobeying my or- 
ders ? 

A. I do not recollect the circumstancesj 

General Lee's question. Did I observe to you how 
unluckily the eminences were situated through the coun- 
try ; that those near the enemy regularly commanded 
those near us ? 

A. I recollect the circumstance. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect the two 
regiments that were placed in front of the cannon, 
being so excessively latigued that they had not the 
power of removing either to the right or to the left, to 
give the cannon a free passage to fire upon the enemy ? 

A. I recollect Colonel Livingston's regiment being in 
that case. 

General Lee's question. Did you think whenever 
you saw me, that 1 was perfectly master of myself, and 
not in the least discomposed ? 

A. I thought you perfectly master of yourself ; the 
circumstance of pointing out the knoll, I thought a very 
good proof of it, though not the only one. 

Brigade-Major Shaw being sworn, says : 

I was with General Knox at the time he was ordered 
by His Excellency with Colonel Hamilton down to 
Monmouth. When we came within about three-quar- 
ters of a mile of the Court-house, at which time there 
was a cannonade between the enemy and us, I was di- 


rected by General Knox and Colonel Hamilton, to ride 
down a road upon our right hand, where there was a 
thick wood, to see if any of the enemy had passed that 
way. When I returned, our advanced corps were then 
moving off; the first I saw of General Lee was near 
the wheat field, at which time General Maxwell was 
with him ; I then left General Lee. T^e next I saw of 
General Lee was upon a piece of ground, a little in 
front of the hedge fence where Colonel Olny was after- 
wards brought up to support some artillery ; upon 
General Knox's observing that it w*as a suitable place 
for artillery, and having General Lee's concurrence, I 
was ordered by General Knox to desire Colonel Jack- 
son, if I could readily find him, to come with his de- 
tachment and support the four pieces of artillery under 
Colonel Oswald ; not readily finding Colonel tfackson, 
I applied to Colonel Olny, who was leading General 
Varnum's brigade, and desired him to form along the 
fence to support the artillery, which he did. Nearly 
about that time, His Excellency came down and ad- 
dressed himself to General Lee, saving, as near as I can 
recollect, that we must determine mimediately, whether 
you or I shall command the troops here ; ii you will 
command them I will ride and form the army in the 
rear. General Lee's answer was, I will do everything 
in my i)ower, and shall be one of the last off the field 
myself. When I carried General Knox's orders to Col- 
onel Oswald to remove to a piece of ground pointed out 
by General Lee and himself, he hesitated at obeying it, 
and said, that he had received so many different kind 
of ordei's, that he did not know which to follow ; I told 
him that he knew me and those by whom I was sent, 
and that he would be answerable if he did not obey 
the order. 

The Court adjourns till to morrow, at nine o'clock. 


JULY 25th. 
The Court met according to adjournment. 

Captain Stewart, of the artillery, being sworn, 
savs : 

I think, as near as I can recollect, on the 28tli of 
June, I was on command with the Marquis de la 
Fayette. On the road to the left of Monmouth Court- 
house, about a mile, and about half after ten o'clock in 
the day, I heard the discharges of several pieces of can- 
non and some musquetry \\\ front ; immediately un- 
limbered my pieces, and on that the enemy were mak- 
ing a charge with their cavalry ; General Lee came up 
and ordered me to liml^er, and be ready to march on 
immediately towards the enemy, towards Monmouth 
Court-house ; at the same time General Varnum's ])ri- 
gade, and the Marquis's detachment, obliqued to the 
right, leaving General Scott's brigade and Colonel Jack- 
son's corps on our left. I received orders from Major 
Shaw to pas§i the morass in our rear, and to take post 
behind ; there I unlimbered and kept a heavy fire of 
cannon on the enemy, the troops retreating under the 
fire of the cannon over the morass. The enemy tlien 
appearing in great force in our fi'ont, I fired fifty odd 
snot, ana received orders from Lieutenant-Colonel 
Oswald to cover the retreat of Captain Cook's two 
pieces, and go on to another piece of ground in our 
rear ; there I tired about forty shot, when the Marcjuis 
ordered me to retreat, and General Lee came and or- 
dered me still to keep up the fire, as it was of service ; 
at the same time I had a party of troops on my left to 
line the edge of the wood to cdver my ])ieces. The 
wood was on the left of the hedge-row*, and a small 
party of horse on my right ; there I continued until I 
received orders from General Knox to go off tlie 

General Lee's question. Was not the greatest atten- 
tion paid, in the course of the day, to the covering and 
supporting the artillery in the different points of action ^ 


A. Yes, both in advancing and retreating, and done 
in great order. 

General Lee's question. What time of the day was 
it you were ordered off the field ? 

A. As near as I can recollect, it was near upon three 

Q. What number of the enemy appeared ? 

A. From eight hundred to one thousand cavalry, and 
from six to eight thousand infantry, and ten pieces of 

General Lee's question. ( Did you observe the size of 
the enemy's cannon ? 

A. One twelve-pounder and the rest sixes.j 

Captain Edwards, Aid-de-Camp to Major-General 
Lee, being sworn, says : 

On the morning of the 28th of June, I think between 
one and two o'clock, a letter was put into my hand by 
Mr. Dunscom, Officer of General Lee's guard, from 
Colonel Hamilton to General Lee, agreeable to the con- 
tents of which. General Lee desired me to write to 
General Dickinson, Colonel Morgan, and Colonel Gray- 
son ; the purport of the letter I wrote to General DicK- 
inson was, to select out about eight hundred of his best 
men, and to detach them as near the enemy's rear as he 
could. These troops were to act as a corps of observa- 
tion, and to forward the earliest intelligence to Gen- 
eral Lee respecting the enemy ; the purport of what I 
wrote to Colonel Morgan, I think, was lor him to ad- 
vance with the troops under his command near the 
enemy, and to attack them on their first movement ; 
it was left to his discretion how to act, only that he 
should take care and not expose his troops so much as 
to disable him from acting in conjunction with Gen- 
eral Lee, if there was any necessity for it. The letter to 
Colonel Grayson was, that he should get the brigade 
under his command in immediate readiness to march, and 
to send word when they were ready. In the morning, 
I think about daylight, Colonel Grayson appeared with 
Vol. IIL— 11 


his men at English-Town, and applied to General Lee 
for proper guides ; General Lee sent me to procure 
some for him, but the guides who were ordered to 
remain with us were not to be found. I went through 
the town to procure others, that he might get off as 
soon as possible. Colonel Grayson observed, that it 
was a matter of consequence, and that he did not 
chuse to move with any guides but those who are 
known. General Foreman came to General Lee's quar- 
ters, and said he would procure guides, which I sup- 
posed he did, as Colonel Grayson soon marched off. 
Colonel Grayson's orders, I believe, then were to inarch 
on about two or three miles, and then halt. General 
Lee, from some intelligence, which I supposed he had 
received, sent me forward to order Colonel Grayson to 
Dush on as fast as possil)le and attack the enemy. 

(before I got up with Colonel Grayson, I met with one 
of General Dickinson's Aid-de-Camps, who informed 
me the main body of the enemy was near Monmouth 
Court-house, and he believed they were marching to 

/attack us ; he told me he was going with this inform- 
ation to General Washington ; I told him he would 
meet General Lee upon the road, and he had better tell 
him of it also. I then proceeded on and overtook Col- 
onel Grayson, who had at that time passed the Meet- 
ing-house ; I told him of the orders that I had from 
General Lee, bnt that I supposed General Lee was 
ignorant of the present situation of the enemy, and that 
1 fancied he had better not move on. Colonel Gray- 
son went with me to General Dickinson, who was just 
ahead, advanced over a causeway. General DicKin- 
son asked me where General Lee was ; I informed 
him, coming on just behind ; he told me we might rely 
upon it that the enemy had not moved, but were di'awn 
up this side of the Court-house. I told him I would go 
back and inform General Lee of it myself. He called 
me back, and begged I would tell General Lee to j)ost a 
brigade on the road which led to Craig's mill, for he was 
very apprehensive the British troops would send off a 


large coluinn down that road, and another upon his left, 
and cut him off. He asked me if I perfectly under- 
stood him ; I informed him I did, and went and inform- 
ed General Lee of it I rode back and told Colonel 
Durgee to take the l>e8t position he could, until he had 
furtlier orders. I met Greneral Lee and delivered him 
the message from General Dickinson. He sent Mr. 
Mercer to order General Maxwell's brigade upon that 
road, V)ut observing two militia regiments, he told me 
to ride on and to post them upon a high hill that was 
on the road leading to Craig's mill. General Lee then. 
j)roceeded on to General Dickinson, who gave him the 
same information he gave me. There were a number 
of militia officers there, who went out recomioitering,. 
some of whom brought intelligence the enemy had 
moved off, and it was only a covering party that re- 
mained. General Lee then sent me to order Colonel 
Durgee's brigade to advance over the causeway, which 
they did, with the artillery. Then, upon other gentle^ 
men's riding up, and positively asserting the enemy's 
maiti force was still there, and was filing off in columns 
to the right and left. Colonel Durgee's brigade was 
ordered back again t<^ take post upon the same hill. 
About this time much intelligence was brought by peo- 
ple riding backwards and forwards, equally contra- 
dictory, and equally apparently authentic. General 
Lee then said he would not believe anything he heard,, 
but would advance forward with the troops hhnself 
and know their situation, which he did through a wood 
upon the left. Some time before we got to tlie Court- 
house, the detachment with Colonel Butler marched in 
line of battle through the wood, but upon General Lee's 
being informed that there was a large morass ahead, 
and they could not march in that manner, he ordered 
them to advance in column from the centre. Just 
before they arrived opj)osite to the Coui^t-house they 
were ordered to halt, and General Lee went out upon 
the right with General Wayne to reconnoitre their 
situation, where a party of norse and some infantry 


presented themselves to view near the Court-house. A 
few men were picked out to keep up a scattering fire 
upon them. General Lee desired me to take two light- 
horsemen, and go to a road that led to the left of the 
Court-house, and endeavor to get in the i*ear of it, to 
discover, as near as I })ossibly could, theii* numbers. 1 
^vent, and got into the rear, and saw about five or six 
hundred filing off from the Coui*t-house, and, I thought, 
precij)i lately retreating. I rode back to General Lee, 
and observed to him what I have related. He asked 
me if artillery could go up that road ; I told him they 
could ; he told me to take Colonel Durgee's brigade, 
with two pieces of artillery, and pilot them uj) that 
road, and get on their flanks and attack them. I led 
the brigade up the road that I had been ; I then dis- 
covered the troops under General Wayne's command on 
the right advanced. I told Colonel Durgee that I had 
led him as far the road as I knew any thmg about, and 
^consequently I had. nothing more to cio with him ; that 
I would ride forward to the troops I sa^v advanced 
•on the right to find General Lee. I rode on to where 
^General Wayne was draw^n up ; I saw the enemy pa- 
raded just in the edge of the wood in front, upon an 
-eminence with their dragoons. There were a few of 
our light-horsemen, who were advanced upon the right, 
at a very considerable distance. I saw the British dra- 
goons parading, as I thought, to make a chai'ge upon 
• our dragoons. I rode up to the dragocms, and desired 
thetn to let the British horse come as near as they 
could, with safety, and then to retreat off towards where 
General Wayne was, and let him receive them. The 
British horse pursued until they came near General 
Wayne, when, upon receiving a fire from our troops, 
they wheeled off to join their main body. General 
Wayne then advanced, encouraging his men to advance 
on and charge the enemy with bayonets. I rode l)ack 
to General Lee, who sent me forward to General 
Wayne again, with orders that he should make a feint 
or shew of attack upon the enemy, for that General 


Lee had sent round a large column upon the left to sur- 
round and take them, if they should prove to be but a 
covering party, and that if General Wayne pushed on 
too precipitately it would subvert that plan and disap- 
point his intentions. These orders were delivered to 
me at that time, in such a particular manner that they 
indicated a certainty of success. I went and delivered 
them to General Wayne, and upon my i*eturn found 
General Lee advancing with Colonel Oswald towards 
the enemy with some artillery. A cannonade soon 
began ; after exchanging a few rounds, our artillery 
began to retreat ; General Lee observed it, immediately 
rode up, and asked the reason of it ; Colonel Oswald 
answered that all his round shot was expended, and 
that the wagon with the ammunition ^vas the other 
side of the ravine, which he thought would not be safe 
to briiiii: over. We then observed a column of the 
enemy moving to our right ; some gentlemen rode up 
to General Lee, and said the enemy were advancing in 
a large column, as he supposed to gain our rear or the 
Court-house. Our troops then began their march tow- 
ards the head of the column of the enemy, which was 
marching towards the Court-house. General Lee was 
at the head of our troops who were marching ; I rode 
up to him, and after going some little distanceZLe told 
me he had sent Mr. Mercer back to tell General Scott 
to defend that ground that he was upon, but, that there 
might be no possible mistake, he desired me also to 
ride back with the same ordei-s ; in ridmg back I met 
Mr. Mercer just at the edge of the wood ; I observed 
to him that I was going with orders to General Scott 
to defend that ground ; he told me that* General Scott 
had moved off ; I asked him what we should do then, 
for it was General Lee's particular ordei's that that 
place should be defended ; Mr. Mercer made answer so 
it was, and he could not help it. In riding back to 
General Lee we saw some troops in the wood upon the 
left retiring, which Mr. Mercer observed he supposed 
were General Scott's. At this time I had not the least 


idea of oiir troops retreating, but that they were inclin- 
ing obliquely towards the head of the enemy. We 
roae on till w^e came up with General Lee, and told 
him that the troops upon the left w^ere gone ; General 
Lee would scarcely believe it, and expressed in strong 
terms his disapj)robation of it. A little after this our 
troops began to I'etire, by whose order I don't know. 
After retiring some distance General Lee ordered me to 
have some artilleiy drawn up on an eminence, some 
considerable distance in front of Carr's house, and or- 
dered me to fix some troops on the left of the artillery 
in a w^ood to support it. I ordered Colonel Stewart 
with th« troops that he was at the head of, to take post 
in that wood for the support of that artilleiy. General 
Lee likewise ordered me to have some troops posted in 
a little point of brushwood, a little in the rear upon the 
right of where the artillery wei'e drawn up. I ordered 
Lieutenant-Colonel Parke with the troops that he was 
at the head of, to take post in tliat wood ; the reasons I 
ave him for it were, that if the enemy extended their 
eft, it would be a support to that artillery in his front. 
I think it was a little after this that General Lee rode 
up to Mr. Wikoff, and asked him, as he knew^ the 
countiy, where would be the best ground for him to 
make a disposition with his troops, that he might j ire- 
vent the enemy from out-flanking of them with their 
cavalry. Mr. \V^ikoff pointed back to that hill, where 
our aiiny was drawn up on when we arrived at it, and 
said that it was the l>est ground he knew of. The 
troops under General Lee continued their march, as I 
supposed, to avail themselves of that ground. Some 
distance forward, some artillery being drawn up on a 
hill, General Knox applied to General Lee for s<mie in- 
fantry to support it ; General Lee ordered me to biing 
that regiment, pointing to Colonel Livingston's, and 
ordered them upon the right to suppoi-t that artillery. 
Colonel Livingston made answer, that his troo])s were 
excessively fatigue<l, but that he would obey. On Col- 
onel Livingston's coming up, he got in front of the ar- 




tillery ; a column of the enemy at that time presented 
themselves very fair ; General Lee oi*dered the troops 
to open to the right and left, to give the artillery an 
opportunity of playing on the enemy. There were 
some troops coming out of the wood upon the left of 
the artillery, in front of it, at the head of whom was 
Lieutenant-Colonel William Smith. General Lee or- 
dered me immediately to order him to go back and to 
defend that piece of wood for the support of the ar- 
tillery. I went and delivered Lieutenant-Colonel Wil- 
liam Smith the order. General Lee then gave orders 
to have General Varnum's brigade drawn up in our 
rear, behind a fence, to cover the retreat of the artillery, 
and the troops advanced with them. We then rode on 
and met General Washington; 

General Lee's question. Was I not, in the whole 
course of the day, calm and composed, thoroughly 
master of myself ? 

A. I did not observe the least embarrassment in you, 
J but much the reverse, as every order you delivei'ed me 

was delivered with the same coolness as in common 
when out of the field. 

Question by the Court. What number of the enemy 
appeared that day, in your opinion ? 

A. I did not that day attempt to make any computa- 
tion of the enemy, except the time I was sent to recon- 
noitre them back of Monmouth Coui-t-house. I saw 
columns appearing in sight, but as I could not see the 
rear of them I could form no manner of judgment, but 
I had not a doubt then but that their chief force was 

Question by the Court. What number of the enemy 
do you now suppose you saw that day ? 

A. Two thousand might have appeared in my sight, 
but I did not see their rear. 

Question by the Court. Did you know or under- 
stand by whose orders, or by what means, the troops 
upon the right in the first instance retreated ? 

A\J. had not a doubt but it was on account of Gene- 


ral Scott's retreat upon the left, as General Lee ex- 

fressed so much uneasiness at that post being left, but 
do not know by whose orders. ^ 

Q. How long a time after our troops first inclined to 
the right was it that you met Major Mercer, who in- 
formed you that General Scott's had left their ground ? 

A. I cannot now justly ascertain what length of time 
it was, but it might be fifteen or twenty minutes. 

Q. Were any orders sent to halt the troops that were 
retreating after they began to. retreat ? 

A. Frequent orders were given to different parts of 
the troops on the right to halt at different times to sup- 
port the ai-tillery. I heard General Lee likewise give 
orders to General Maxwell's brigade to take post in the 
wood over a morass some distance in front of where 
General Washington's position was. 

Q. When vou infonned General Lee that General 
Scott's detachment was gone off from the post they 
occupied, did he send you to discover where that de- 
tachment was ? 

A. No. 

Q. When you were sent with orders from General 
Lee to General Scott, did you go to the ground that de- 
tachment occupied ? 

A. I did not, for the reasons given in the body of my 

Q. Did you see General Scott's detachment after- 
wards that day on the retreat ? 

A. I did not, to know them. 

Question by the Court. At that time Mr. Wikoff 
pointed to the ground you have mentioned, were you 
then in sight of it ? 

A. I think we were, but am not certain. 

Question by the Court. Did he describe it in such 
a manner that you knew it to be the identical ground ? 

A. I particularly recollect that he did. 

The Court adjourns till Monday next, at nine o'clock. 


JULY 27tL 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

General Lee's question to Captain Edwards. Do you 
recollect when I came up to General Dickinson what in- 
telligence I received with respect to the ravine then in 
our rear, and of the nature oi the country ? 

A. Upon your making inquiry respecting the coun- 
try, you were informed by General Dickinson, or some 
of the gentlemen with him, that that ravine was not 
passable for troops and artillery in any other place but 
at that bridge. 

General Lee's question. Do you think I paid proper 
attention fi-om the first retrograde manoeuvre through 
the inteiTuediate space until I fell in with General 
Washington ; and in what manner do you think it was 
executed ? 

A. -You, as I have already mentioned, gave me and 
others frequent orders relative to the retreat, in posting 
the troops for the security of the artillery. The troops 
marched in great order, and took their post regularly^' 
except some at the latter part of the time, which were 
broke by a charge from the enemy, and which you 
yourself, in my presence, rode up and ordered to form 
again. The answer from the commanding officer of the 
troops w^as, that he could not form the men there, on 
account of a ravine or hollow, but would as soon as ever 
they got on plain ground. 

The Court adjourns till to-morrow, at nine o'clock. 

JULY 28th. 

The President being indisposed, the Members adjourn 
till to-morrow, at nine o'clock. 

JULY 29th. 
The Court met. 
The proceedings having been read by desire of Major* 


General Lee, he requests until Monday to prepare his 

The Court do consent to the General's havinjj till 
Monday to prepare his Defence, and adjourn till Mon- 
day, at nine o'clock. 


Captain Stetii being sworn : 

Q. Did you cairy any orders from General Lee the 
28th of June ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. What orders did you carry ? 

A. The first order I remember to have carried from 
General Lee was, to order a party of men tliat were 
coming across the plain towards the Court-house, to 
cross a little meadow and to take [)Ost on a small lieiglit 
on the other side on the left of the Court-house. When 
we had retreated some distance, I carried another order 
from General Lee, w^hich was for a party to take j><)st 
in a piece of wood. The party was on the left, or 
rather in front, as we retired, and when I carried them 
orders, was in a field between the field of battle and 
the Court-house. 

Q. Did you carry any orders to the Marquis de la 
Fayette i 

A. I carried no order to him that I recollect. 

Q. Were the troops, when they were coming across 
the plain, advancing to the enemy or retiring from 
them ? 

A. They were marching nearly paralhA with the 
enemy tow^ards the Court-house. 

Q. Was the Kight they were ordered to take |)ost 
on, in the rear of the line the troops were marching on, 
or in front of it i 

A. It was rather in the rear of the line. 

Question by the Court. Whom did you deliver tlie 
orders to, you first carried ? 


A. To the commanding officer of the detachment, but 
I do not recollect his name. 

Question by the Court. Did the troops take post on 
the lieight agreeable to the orders you carried ? 

A. I did not see tliem take post ; I left them as soon 
as I liad delivered the orders, and rode on after General 
Lee to the village. 

Question by the Court. How long did you stay in 
the villatje with General Lee ? 

A. I do not believe I was thei^e ten minutes. 

Question by the Court. Where did you go to from 
the villao^e ? 

A. I left the village with General Lee ; we went 
into the field, and from there to the field we met Gen- 
eral Washington. 

Question by the Court. Were the troops retiring at 
the time you left the village ? 

A. I believe they were. There was a piece of artil- 
lery retreating, and General Lee went up and ordered 
the officer to turn back towards the enemy. 
/ General Lee's question. Did you conceive when I 
/ ordered the troops to take post on the height, that it 
I was with an intention to retreat, or to put them in a 
\ better position ? 

A. I conceived it was to put them in a better position. 

General Lee's question. Do you recollect my ex- 
claiming against particular officers for evacuating posts 
they Avere ordered to ? 

A. I heai'd you say once or tw4ce that officers had 
left tlieir posts. I remember you mentioning General 
Scott particularly. 

General Lee's question. When I ordered the officer 
back with the piece of artillery, when he was retreat- 
ing, do you recollect whether he mentioned to me tliat 
he had orders to retreat ? 

A. I do not recollect. 

General Lee's question. In the course of the day did 
I not appear possessed of myself, and not in the least 
disconcerted ? 


A. I saw nothing to the contrary. 

Major-General Lee not heiucr prepared to make his 
defence, requests the Court will give him until Thurs- 
day next. 

The Court having considered the matter, consent to 
the General's having until Thursday next to prepare 
his defence, and adjourn till Thursday, at nine o'clock. 

AUGUST 6th. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

General Lee not being fully prepared for his defence, 
the Court adjourn till Sunday next, at nine o'clock. 

AUGUST 9th. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

Major-General Lee produces a deposition of Mr. Peter 
Wikoff, which, being admitted as evidence and read, is 
as follows : 

On ray informing Major-General Lee that I was per- 
fectly acquainted with that part of the country where 
the action happened on the 28th of June last, and if I 
could be of any service to my country or him, I 
begged he would command me to do anything he 
thought proper. He requested me to shew him some 
place where he might order his troops, to be secure 
against the attacks of the enemy. 1 pointed out a 
place in a wood southerly of the old house at wliich 
the enemy formed after they retreated from the field of 
action. General Lee said, " there was not time to take 
them there ; that the enemy were pressing too close 
upon us," and desired me to direct him to some other 
place ; I then shewed him Comb's hill, where, I told 
him, he would have a morass on his front and left, and 
a wood on his rear ; that the enemy could not attack 
him there without apparent disadvantage to them- 
selves, unless it was on his right, and to get there they 
must go three or four miles round; but if he wanted 


to cany his field pieces and ammunition waggons with 
him, it would be necessary to lay a causeway over that 
morass, for it was very miry, and no carriages could go 
over it except tliat was first done, and that I thought 
it might he effected in a few minutes with rails, as 
there were fences all around. General Lee made 
answer, that if it was not already done, we had no time 
to do it in; that there was no time to be lost, or words 
to that effect ; and he then begged me to conduct his 
troops under cover of some wood, for he could not make 
them stand in a plain or open field so well as in the 
woods ; but, at the same time, said that he thought our 
men were equally brave with any men in the world. I 
then pointed out to him a wood and eminence adjoin- 
ing, which General Lee approved of, and begged me to 
lead his troops on and sJiew them the place, wliich I 
did. Tlie eminence was the very piece of ground His 
Excellency General Washington afterwards formed his 
army on. But previous to General Lee's sending any 
troops to the last mentioned jdace, he threw a number 
of troops into a skirt of woods on the right of the ene- 
my, and on the left, where Colonels Stewart and Ram- 
sey first formed their regiments, and where, as I believe, 
the first heavy firing of musketry began. 

Personally ajipeared before me, John Ord, Esq., 
one of the Justices, <fec., Peter Wikoff, and 
upon his solemn Oath on the holy Evange- 
lists of Almighty God, did depose and say, 
That the above is the purport of what passed 
between General Lee and this Deponent, to the 
best of this Deponent's knowledge. And 
fuiiiher said not. 

Peter Wikoff. 
Sworn before me the first day 
of August, at Philadelphia, 

John Ord. 

^^ } - 174 THE LEE PAPERS. 

Major-General Lee proceeds to make his Defence, 
which is as follows : 

BEFORE I enter into a narration of what was per- 
forrn'd or was not perform'd on the 28th of June, 
by the body of trriops under my command, it is neees- 
saiT to make as clear as possible to the Court, the nature 
and spirit of the orders 1 received from His Excellency, 
at least to explain my idea of them ; for it must ap- 
pear, from the evidence of the different commentators 
on these orders, that they were by no means precise 
and positive, but in a great measure discretionary, at ' 
least I conceived them as such, and am inclin'd to think' 
that the Court will consider them in the same light.' 
The several Councils of War, held both in Pennsylvania 
and on this side of the Delaware, on the subject of the 
operations to be pursued in the Jerseys, reprobate the 
iaea of risking a general engagement, as a measure 
highly absurd in the present, or rather then, circum- 
stances of America, (for since the time these councils 
were held, circumstances are much altered,) as the ad- 
vantages to be gained by victory were not to be put in 
competition with the evils which might result from 
defeat ; and, if I recollect right, the most sanguine of 
these Councils only recommended to seek and seize some 
favourable opportunity of striking some important l)ut 
partial blow. For instance, the cutting off their rear 
or covering party, or perhaps the demolition or surprize 
of their baggage ; in short, some blow which might * 
reflect an additional lustre to the ai-ms of America with- » 
out endangering her safety ; for it is difficult to affix a r 
precise idea to a partial but important blow, it is more 
easy to conceive than express the meaning; but be tliis 
as it will, it certainly implies a very great degree of 
discretionary power to the executive officer. 

But, whatever may have been the good sense of these 
Councils, I shall readily allow that tiiey ought to have 
Ijttle or no weight with an officer, if subsequent orders 
sfrom the Commander-in-Chief, or even a hint communi- 


cated, had been of such a nature, as to give reason to 
think that the idea had })een discarded, and that the 
General had adopted a plan repugnant to these Coun- 
cils ; but I had not the least reason to think that he 
had discarded this idea. No letter I received, no con- 
versation I ever held witli him, indicated an intention 
or wish to court a general engagement ; if he had, I 
protest solenmly, that, whatever I might have thought 
of the wisdom of the plan, I should have turned my 
thoughts solely to the execution. It has been thrown , 
out, and almost j)ositively asserted, God knows fori 
"what purposes, by two gentlemen, that I had received' 
the General's orders positively to attack the enemy at • 
all events, in whatever situation and in wliatever force 
I found them ; of course, the first halt I made, in con- 
sequence of the advice I received from General Dickin- 
son of the whole force of the enemy being ranged in 
battalia, was censural)le. I must do His Excellency the 
justice to declare, that he never gave, directly or indi- * 
rectly, such orders — they would have been unworthy* 
of a man many thousand degrees his inferior in under- 

Upon the whole, I am warranted to insist, that no 
letter, no conversation, gave me reason to think, that 
His Excellency had taken up a plan repugnant to tlie 
spirit of the Councils of War referred to ; and, if it was 
necessary or proper on this occasion, I think I could 
demonstrate from His Excellency's subsequent measures 
and conduct, and from the subsequent conversation he 
held with some very confidential persons, that my idea 
was a just one. — Under the influence of this idea, at 
least, 1 was detennined k) act, and the only posteriour 
order I received in the course of the day of action, that 
through the channel of Colonel Meade, which was verbal, 
not written, confirmed rather than altered my senti- 
ments on the subject ; it was, if I recollect myself right, 
couched in these precise words — "The General expects * 
you will find means of engaging the enemy, if no ])ower- / 
ful consideration prevent you. These terms certainly » 


iniplyM a degree of discretionary power. My answer 
was that of a willing and submissive officer — viz. : 
" Tliat I would endeavour to answer his intentions ; " and 
every measure I pursued demonstratevS, fi'om the various 
evidences delivered to the Court, that I absolutely and 
literally did obey his order, and to the utmost of my 
power endeavoured to fulfil his expectations. 

It is unnecessary to trouble the Court with a repe- 
tition of the detail of what happened previous to the 
moment I sat out; of Colonel Hamilton's letter, and of 
those I wrote to Colonels Grayson, Morgan, and Gen- 
eral Dickinson, with their contents ; of Grayson's halt 
and the reason of it : These circumstances have been 
sufficiently and clearly explained already ; but there is 
one of those previous points I beg leave for a moment 
to dwell upon ; I mean the conversation I held with 
the Major-General and Brigadiers (who were to act 
under my command) on the evening of the 27th : An 
explanation on this head will save nmch trouble to the 
Court and myself, and prevent my breaking in on the 
thread of my narrative, which I wish to render as sim- 
ple, concise and intelligible as possible. 

General Washington I'ecommended to me a con- 
ference with those gentlemen, relative to any j)lan of 
operations I might choose to adopt, but as he only re- 
commended the conference, I of course thought myself 
at full li)>erty on this head : I told the gentlemen, if I 
recollect right, that as the number and situation of the 
enemy were mei^e conjecture, and the country was far 
from l)eing reconnoitered, if a precise plan was formed, f 
the least trifling, unexpected circumstance, must em- * 
barrass, distract, and lead us astray. I do not pretend • 
to vouch that such was my explicit language, l)ut I 
am sure they were and are my sentiments, and in 
consequence 1 confin'd myself to entreating them to 
be alert and avoid all disputes with respect to rank, 
as it possibly might haj)pen in the occurrences of 
the day, that the eldest officer might be ordered to 
the left and the youngest to the right. And from 


the little practice I have had in war, and all the read- 
ing I am possessed of on the subject of war, I think 
myself justifiable in this opinion, rerhaps I am wrong, 
but as it is merely matter of opinion, I hope the 
common allowances will be made for error — To com- 
pare things on a small scale with those on a great — 
that a general who commands a covering army, as Mar- 
shal Saxe did at Fontenoy, to receive an enemy who 
must attack him inevitably, or lose a most im})oii:ant 
place, should form a precise plan, is, I think, not only 
possible but appears easy : That to form a precise and 
certain plan for attacking the quartei^s of a besieging 
army, as was done at Turin, is proper and possible, no 
man ^vi\\ dispute — and even to arrange a system for at- 
tacking an enemy on their march, as General Laudon 
did near Olmutz, if the country is perfectly reconnoi- 
tered, and the f()rce, disposition, and situation of the 
adv^erse army accurately and determinately known, is 
likewise proved possible and wise ; but if the country 
is lui-reconnoitered, and the force, disposition, and situ- 
ation of tlie enemy doubtful, I must profess that I can- 
not persuade myself that a precise plan can be attended 
w ith any good conse(|uences, but that it must distract, 
lead astray, and in effect be ruinous. All that an offi 
cer can do in these circumstances, (but w^hat I offer is 
only a matter of opinion,) is to recommend it to those 
who serve imder iiim, to be alert, vigilant and atten- 
tive ; that if they march in many columns the distances 
may be well observed, and to take care that the sec- 
tions of those colunms, or even of one column (if the 
country will not admit of more) be kept distinct, 
so as to throw themselves with the greatest facility 
into whatever form the circumstances of affairs may 
re^julre. These were and are my sentiments on this 
subject, and I think it ^vill not appear that I had any 
reason to give them up on this particular occasion. 
That the cimntry w^as un-reconnoitered, and the force 
of the enemy uiiasceitained, I think must sufficiently 

appear to the Court, from every evidence produced; 
Vol. III.— 12 


with respect to the ignorance of tlie former, we need 
only instance the utter silence of those who offered 
themselves as guides on the sul)ject of the great ravine, 
which traversed the plain quite from the Court-house 
to the wooil on our left, an ignorance of which might 
have proved fatal to an army in similar circum- 

I sincerely beg j)ardon of the Court for this essay, 
which, on the first asj)ect, may a])pear somewhat j)r<)lix 
and impertinent; but, when they consider how fre- 
quently it has been asked, (and how great stress seems 
to be laid upcm it,) w^hether I had planned any mode or 
ari'anged any system for attack, 1 flatter myself they 
will be rather pleased than displeased, that I liave 
taken this general method of answering the question. 

On the 26th of June I marclied with the lK)dy of men 
under my command, amounting, as I then imagin'd, to 
4100, although I have since discovered, that tliey were 
considerably less. I should not, perhaps, mention tliis 
circumstance, if so much industrious pains had not been 
1 taken to prove them five thousand comj)leat. The vari- 
: ous delays, halts and embarrassments, occasioned l)y 
. false alarms, and contradictory intelligence in our march 
\from English-Town to the eminence where we found 
General JJickinson with a small party of militia pdsted, 
have l>een already so minutely related to the Court, 
that I shall pass them over in silence ; let it suffice that 
I was tiezed, mortified and chagrined, })articularly as 
it occasioned distress to Colonel Dui'gee's cor])s, by little 
marches and counter-nnirches from one hill to another 
over the ravine, in front of wdiich I found General 
Dickinson, and, as it gave an awkward air to our 
first manoeuvres; this gentleman, to whom I had 
been referred for the most substantial intelligence, I ac- 
costed with some warmth, how, wherefore, and by what 
means could arise such distracted information ? He re- 
plied with equal, if not greater warmth, that his ad- # 
vices were constant, consistent and simple, and that he ' 
was assured and would adhere to his assertion, that the* 


enemy, no not a man of them, had stirred from their post • 
at or near the Court-house, and that I should find it to • 
be a fact if I moved from the spot we then stood on : < 
On my seeming to doubt, and demanding from wliat 
authorit}'^ he drew liis information, he replied, as I think, 
with some heat, among others, from Baron Stuben's — 
Baron Stuben's himself told me so — and, to the best of ^ 
my remembrance, he added these words — '' General 
Lee, you may believe or not, but if you march your 
pai'ty beyond the ravine now in your rear, which liad 
only one passage over it, you ai*e in a perilous situa- 
ation." Although I ha<l great and just confidence m. 
General Dickinson, the number of those who asserted 
the contrary — viz. : That the main body of the enemy 
had certainly mai'ched, and that those who remained at 
or near the Court-house, were only a common covering 
party, had so much weight with me, that I determinecl 
to march on and ascertain with my own eyes, the num- 
ber, order and disposition of the enemy, and conduct 
myself accordingly. The Marquis of Fayette, being 
therefore come up, and having reconnoitered the wood^ 
into which it had been reported a battalion or two of 
the enemy had thrown themselves, and satisfied myself 
of this re])ort's being groundless, we proceeded on in the 
manner already related, to the Court-house. Through 
this intei-mediate space, nothing worthy of notice has 
happened, unless I may ol)serve, thatwnat Colonel But- 
ler suj)poses, in an article of his evidence, is a mistake : 
He attributes my i*educing the troops into a column 
from the centre, to my disapproving their marching in 
front, but my real and only reason was, that I was ap- 
pnzed of a defile in our front, which rendered this altei-a- 
tion necessaiy. 

On our aridval at the point of woods opposite to the 
Court-house, I thought it expedient, from the appear- 
ance of the wood, and the circumstance of a cross road, 
to form in what is called a potence, for the security of 
the front and flank of our colunm^ and then, with (tcu- 
eral Wayne and a few others, rode out of the wood to. 


xeconnoitre, enjoining the officers who remained, to keep 
themselves, theii* soldiers, and particularly the field 
pieces, as much concealed as possible. The corj)s that 
presented themselves to our view, mi^ht have consisted 
of five or six hundred cavahy and light infantry, 
(mixed) in that sort of order in which these s])ecies of 
troops on similar occasions are generally disposed, that 
is, in o])en and sparse files ; but no satisfactory conclu- 
sions could be drawn from the appearance of this corps 
with respect to the forces that might or might not be 
in their rear; however, I had little doubt l>ut that their 
princijJe was a retreat, and soon afterwards, from the 
intelligence that Caj)tain Mercer obtained, I was in- 
duced to think that 1500 or 2000 constituted the force 
of this covering party, and I entertained hopes that 
there might probably be an interval between them and 
their main body, sufficient to afford me an op]K>rtunity 
of cutting them off; and even that, should it ha])j)en, 
we were deceived in their numbers and sup])osed inter- 
val, I flattered myself, that the nature of the country, 
«(as far as I had a right to judge from its asj)ect,) 
would secure us from any material disgiace. In 
these hopes, and on this principle, I immediately 
plann'd and ordered the following attacks : General 
Wayne, with TOO men and two pieces of aitilleiy, 
to attack in rear ; Colonel Durgee, with Varnum's 
])rigade, to make the left flank attack, and Colonel 
Morgan would, I concluded, conformal)le to the orders 
.he had received, attack their right flank. The orders I 
sent tn General Wayne were these: that he should, in 
his attack, rather affect shyness than confidence, lest 
the ai)})earance of vigour should give the enemy reason 
to think we were in force, and conse<juently, occasion 
them either to retreat with so much celerity to the 
main bodv, or to draw l)ack from that main bodv so 
powerful a reinforcement as to defeat our purj)oses — in 
short, all I expected from him for the ])resent was, that 
he should occasion them to halt : I then put myself at 
the head of the remaining column and marched through 


the Wi>o(l by that road, which, in the course of the evi- 
dence, is mentioned to have been discovered by Colonel 
Rhea or General Foreman, and to have been reconnoi- 
tered l>y Captain Edwards. It has been asked wliether 
I gave any particular instructions to General Scott h-ow 
to conduct nimself on this occasion : I coukl not, I did 
not see him, nor did I conceive there was a necessity 
for it, for as his detachment was part of the corps I 
pro}>osed to command in person, and as it w^is an affair 
the success of wliich, perhaps, depended on a moment, 
I contented myself with the general instructions con- 
veyed by Colonel Brooks, the Adjutant-Genei-al, to the 
principal officers and commanders of corps, with respect 
to the ordei* they were to march in columns, and with 
the paiticular orders given by Captain Edwards to 
Colonel Durgee. 

As to forming a precise plan in an un-reconnoitered 
country, I have already (whether substantial or futile) 
given my objections ; and as I had great confidence in 
the attention and coolness of the officers and men, I 
persuaded myself that they would with facility throw 
themselves into any form that contingencies might 

We marched with great I'apidity 'till we emerg'd 
from the wood into the plain ; the wood extended itself 
close on our left to a point about 300 yards distant : a\ »out 
this time a party of our light-horse were driven in by 
those of the enemy towards the spot where Colonel 
Butler was with his detachment ; the Colonel repulsed 
them "by his fii-e ; a croud of visitants and spectators, 
acting in no capacity, on this occasion galloj)ed in so 
furiously upon our troops, that had they not ))een 
firui and cool, mi<jht have occasioned great trepidation, 
alarm and confusion : these visitants are a species of 
gentry that I hope every General for the future, who 
lias any regard for his own interest or that of the pub- 
lic, will devise some means to keep the field clear of. 
Arriving in the plain, in view of the enemy, the follow- 
ing was the disposition of oui' troops : Tlie whole col- 


unin (Maxwell's brigade excepted) had crossed the 
fi^reat ravine, where I halted General Wayne's original 
cletachnient in order to form a right, and tlien myself 
filed off Scott's detachment to the point of wood I 
mentioned, to form a left I then advanced into the 
plain in hopes of having a full view of the ground : 
The plain was extensive, and to me appeared uneml)ar- 
rassed ; their force was consid'Crably larger than I had 
l)een taught to expect ; a column of artilleiy, witli a 
strong covering i>arty, both horse and foot, ])resented 
themselves in the centre of the plain, another much 
larger appear'd directing their course tow^ards tlie Court- 
house on our right. As this column, if it had turned our 
right, must have put us into the most dangerous situ- 
ation, I immediately ordered three regiments, under 
the Marquis of Fayette, Qo incline to the right and 
meet them j)and detached Cai)tain Mercer to General 
Scott, then in the wood on the left, with orders to re- 
main where he w^as, as jel security to our left flank ; this 
could not possibly have been five minutes fi'om tlie time 
I left his detachment I then myself inclined fartlier 
to the right, in order to take my measures accordingly : 
A few minutes afterwards, I w^as suq^rized upon ob- * 
serving that Colonel Osw^ald, with the pieces under his • 
command, were retii'ing towards the ravine ; I rode up • 
to him, and in some heat demanded the reason why he » 
retreated without my orders ; his answer was, as has been • 
already related to the Court, that he had expended all his • 
round shot, and that his ammunition w^aggon w as on tlie • 
other side of the ravine ; the reascm w^as, without doul)t, i 
fully satisfactoiy, and I may venture to pronounce, from ^ 
what I observed, and from w^hat every other person who 
had an opportunity of observing his conduct throngli 
the wliole process of that day, tliat it nmst be some 
very substantial reason indeed tliat will ever induce 
that officer to retreat 

As so nmch depended on the security of the left flank, 
and the keejnn^ possession of the ^vood where I left the 
main body, and apprehensive that some mistake might 


possibly arise, I dispatched Captain Edwards, my other 
Aid-de-Camp, to General Scott, with a repetition of the 
orders I had before sent by Captain Meiver. 

Having, as I thought, conceived a propei' idea of the 
intentions of the enemy, I was preparing to retiu*n to 
the left, in order to take the command myself, when my 
two Aid-de-Cainps arrived and informed me that Gen-/ 
eral Scott had abandoned the wood on the left, but that • 
the whole of the troops were retiring from that quarter,* 
and at the same time Caj)tain Mercer observM that the • 
enemy were directing their main body on that flank. * 
This intelligence astonish'd as well as disconcerted me,- 
and I could not refrain from expressing much indi^na- * 
tion upon the occasion. In this state of suspence, 1 ob- 
served the Marquis had fallen back, and I confess, cir- 
cumstanced as we were, I was not sorry for it, although 
to this day I am ignorant by what means it was brougnt 

I now had thoughts of taking a position on the hither 
western margin ot the ravine, in the idea that the vil- 
lage of Freeliold wou'd cover our right flank ; from it's 
aspect, I had conceived the houses to be built of stone, 
and that the trees, in Avhich it was embosorn'd, were a 
thick, strong w^ood. I desired the Marquis to examine 
if it answered its appearance, and a little after rode up 
myself to l)e ascertained of the fact; I found it to be 
reverse of what I had imatjined ; the houses w^ere 
of wood, the village open, and the supposed wood a 
mere common orchard of sparse apple trees. This dis- 
appointment — a reflection that the western side of the 
ravine Avas greatly commanded by the eastern side — 
my uncertainty to what point General Scott and the 
troops on the left had retired — so that, for aught I ' 
knew, our left flank might be quite in air. The certain' 
intelligence which by this time I received of a new 
column of the enemy advancing towards us on the Mid- 
dletown road (which I, in my own mind, ha<l no doubt 
was their main body) ; these concurrent considerations, 
I say, determined me to abandon all thought of this 


position. In every view, on every principle, the meas- 
ure would not only have been censurable, but criminal: 
I must observe, that about this time there was a cry on 
all sides, from a variety of people, that w^hat we could see 
of the enemy pressing down upon us, w as not the wliole, 
but that another column liad actually gained our flank 
or rather our rear on our right. To this I cannot say 
I paid much attention, althougli it was pretty confi- 
dently asserted, particularly by scmie French Gentle- 
men. I addressed myself to Monsieur de Portail, of 
whose abilities I had an high opinion, and as I did not 
chuse to quit the troops myself, entivated liim to ride 
on an eminence in our rear, it struck me a good 
position ; he complied, and on his return made a favour- 
able report of it. To this point I was determined to 
direct our course, w-hei*e, I flattei*ed myself, I should be 
joined by the troops on the left, it would at least l)e 
gaining time for that purpose. I ordered the l)at- 
talions and guns to file off in the only manner in which, 
in my opinion, such manoeuvres are practicable. The 
guns and battalions supported, and w-ere sup])oi-ted 
mutually; had we attempted it in a display of line, 

freat confusion, impediment and loss, must, I think, 
ave ensued ; and I can venture to assert, that no man 
in this whole aimy, whatever services he may have 
seen, and in whatever j)arts of the world he may have 

• serv'd, can instance a retrograde manoeuvre in the face 

• and under the fire of an enemy, pei*fornied with more 

• order and precision. 

When we reached the point Monsieur Portail had re- 
connoitered and aj^proved of, if I i*ecollect riglit, he 
himself obsei'ved the main position would not be ten- 
able, imless a nole in our front and on our left Avas 
occupied by some pieces of artillery, as it would emi- 
nently command our main position. This nole Avas sepa- 
rated from us by a ravine or ugly hollow way ; I l)elieve, 
but am far from being positive, that Monsieur Portail 
made several objections to this positicm, w hich at first 
sight api)eared to him so favourable ; perhaps I might 

■<^»- L ■ ! ■ ■ \^ ' mwm * if '■ ■ ■■ , >g w— W^^y^E^^WW 


not well liave comprehended him, for I do not liarl)()Ui*.the 
least suspicion of his want of candour ; on the contrary, 
I have a great opinion of his integrity as w ell as of his 
abilities ; and, as I have always declared publicly my 
sentiments with regard to this gentleman, I may, with- 
out suspicion of compliment on this occasion, say that I 
think him a real acquisition to the continent. This is • 
the ground, or near it, I think, which seems to have ' 
struck Colonel Grayson as an excellent position, but as ' 
Colonel Grayson was only an officer of the line, he 
prob:il)ly had not opportunity of considering all its 
vices. It was, according to my conception (at least 
from the primd facie, and a General m an un-recon- 
noitered country, can alone form his judgment from the 
prima facie) I say, it was, according to my conception, 
an execrable position. In the first place, it is, I believe, 
in war as well as in all other things, a general maxim, 
that the whole should not depend on a part,- or the 
major on the minor. Now, this nole in our front, and 
consequently nearest the enemy, separated by a ravine 
or ugly hollow way from the ground where our prin- 
cipal corps w^as to })e formed, its crown or occupiable 
part so contiacted, as to have admitted a very trifling 
number of troops to support the battery placed upon 
it, so eminently commanded the main position, that it 
is manifest the instant this single point had been carried, 
the Avhole would have been under the disgraceful neces- 
sity of retiring with precipitation and confusion. The 
wood upon the right (if I may so express myself) w^as 
no Avood at all, but rather a bushery : There Avas, in- 
deed, a real wood, but at so great a distance as not to 
be attainable by infantry in the fatigued state our 
troo})s were then in: In fact, this flank was by no* 
means secure against the attempts of the British cavalry,^ 
had they acted in squadron, which I had every moment* 
reason to expect. But to wave these considerations, * 
there remains a capital objection to this position, which 
is alone suflficient to execrate it in the eye of every 
judicious soldier, I mean the ravine or morass in our. 


rear, over whicli there was alone one passage, and that » 
a very narrow one. General Dickinson (who seems to. 
have informed himself of everything; it was hisbusi-^ 
ness to have informed himself of more fully than any • 
other person to wliom I was referred) had impressed* 
this important point on my mind in too emphatic terms • 
to be easily forgotten. Upon the whole, I think, I may * 
safely refer it to the conscience and judgment of every ' 
Member of this Court whetlier, from these conspiring' 
circumstances, I should liave acted wisely or not in' 
keeping tliis position. 

At tliis juncture, Mr. Wikoff fell in with me, who • 
said he was perfectly acquainted with the country, and* 
offered any services in his power. " I tliought myself • 
extremely fortunate in the renconter, and l)egged thati 
he Avoulcl inform me where a position was to be found • 
that would render our flanks secure from the British t 
cavalry, and at the same time shelter our men from the* 
intolerable heat of the weather; his answer was, that, 
he knew of no wood that wou'd slielter our men from 
the heat of the weather, and at the same time could be« 
esteem'd a tolerable position, but that there was an. 
eminence in our rear, whicli, in his judgment, wouLl • 
answer the latter pui"j)08e excellently well ; he pointed* 
to it, and it proved to, be the very same on which ^ 
General Washington and the army afterwards took* 

As the regiments have no uniforms or distinguishing 
colours, and as I was unhappily almost an utter stranger 
to the names and faces of the Commanding Officers of 
the respective corps, I did the only thing I ])()ssibly 
could do in these circumstances ; I entreated him to ride 
to the rear, make use of my name, and take the first 
regiment he should find opportunely situated, and ar- 
range them on the hill proposed as a point of halt for 
the whole ; I would willinci^ly have sent one of my Aids- 
de-Camp with him, Imt botli their horses were so Avorn 
down that they could scarcely move, and the other two 
gentlemen, who had personally attended through the 


whole course of the day, Colonel Maliuedie and Colonel 
Brooks, were absolutely dismounted, and themselves, 
fi-om the loss of their horses, almost dead with fatigue. 
Captain Mercer, however, Avas soon after detached on 
this eirand, but was prevented from putting into execu- 
tion by tlie arrival of General Washington. 

I cannot pretend to say, whether the authority I gave 
to Mr. Wikoff had all the w^eight I wish'd with the of- 
ficer to whom he addressed himself ; but ill attended as 
I was, it was the only method I could adopt in my cir- 
cumstances ; and I had little reason to doubt, from the 
good disposition I observed in the men and officers to 
comply with every order, whicli had the appearance of 
proceedincj from any authority, that it would have the 
desired effect, and if it had not, I cannot think myself 
responsible for it, but that it must l)e attributed to the 
defective constitution of our army, the most defective 
part of which is, in my opinion, the want of pn)per col- 
ours to the Imttalions, and a proper application of these 
colours, which are the grand pivot and soul of all manceu- 
vres, the want of proper military instruments to sound 
the signals of retreat, halt, march or charge ; for I am 
myself persuaded, that had not our system l)een so de- 
'fective in these points, and the number of my Aid-de- 
' Camps been conipetent, I could (such was the excellent 
temper of the troops) have conducted the whole of the 
manceuvres of this day Avith as much ease as ever they 
were performed in a common field of exercise. 

But be this as it may, I confess I had not the least 
ap))rehension that Mr. Wikoff wou'd not have influence 
sufficient to lead a V>attalion to the point pi'oposed for 
a general halt, and as little that the officer of this bat- 
talion, whichever it might be, wou'd not take the neces- 
sary care to prevent any troops from filing off into the 
rear without further orders. Quit« at ease, therefore, ' 
on this subject, I apply'd my Avhole thoughts and atten- * 
tiou to the condu(?ting the troops from this position, • 
which I considered as an execralde one to the otlier * 
in the rear, that I was taught to think a veiy good . 


one ; I had previously ordered General Maxwell into • 
the wood on our left and in our rear, which Avould se- • 
cure our refreat over the morass in our rear, which has • 
been so often mentioned to have had only one passage • 
over it, and I took measures to supply his place. 

From this point of action to the eminence wliere we 
found General Washington, I can safely appeal to all 
those who were near enough to observe me, whether I 
did not shew all the attention possible to the filing off 
the troops, the posting and properly supporting of 
the guns ? Whether I was not in front, in flank, and 
wherever my presence could possibly be necessary ? 
And whether I did not seem more solicitous for the safe- 
ty and honor of the troo])s than for my own person ? 

The instant General Washington came up and had is- 
sued a single order, I consider'd myself in fact reduc'd 
to a private caj)acity, and if any disorder arose from 
this moment, it may, I think, be attributed rather to a 
clashing of orders, and the not perfectly understanding 
each other, than to any Avant of judgment in me. 
When he pei'mitted me to reassume the command on 
the hill we were then on, he gave me directions to de- 
fend it, in order to give liim time to make a disj)osition 
of his army. The measures I then took were such as 
the exigence of affairs required. The troops that I'e 
mainVl on this hill Avere those that I intended should 
sup})ly the place of General Maxwell's brigade, ordered 
before to cover the passage of our trooj)s over this 
bridge. They were Stewart's and Livingston's bat- 
talions, and Varnum's brigade. I understood Genei'al 
Wayne took the command in the point of wood on our 
left, where Colonel Stewart had been halted : I accord- 
ingly address'd my ordei's by Captain Mercer to him ; 
they were, that he should defend that post to the last. On 
their right on the opposite side of the plain, I had or- 
dered Colonel Oswald, with four pieces of artillery ; he 
might have been in some measure exj)osed had he con- 
tinued long in that situation, as Colonel Livingston, who 
had long before been attach'd to the artillery, had drawn 


up, l)y the mistake explain'd in Colonel Oswald's evi- 
dence, some distance in the rear. But the moment 1 found 
his situation dangerous, I order'd him into the rear of 
Livingston's again ; which regiment, together with Var- 
num's brigade, some time before drawn up by Colonel 
Brooks, my Adjutant General, lined the fence that 
stretch'd across the open field. I here established a 
battery and took post myself. I sent Captain Mercer, 
my Aid-de-Camp, to Colonel Ogden, who (as I was in- 
foinied by Major Ogden) had drawn up in the Avood 
nearest the l)ridge in our rear, and ordered him to de- 
fend that post, to cover the retreat of the whole over 
the V)ridge. 

I have mentioned the disposition of these troops par- 
ticularly, as it has been attempted to be proved by 
some negative evidences, that the troops on this hill haci 
not my orders. There was not a man of them but Avhat 
had my particular orders, and the greater part of them 
V)efore I had the honor of seeing those gentlemen, as has 
been fully proved l>y the gentlemen on tlie affirmative 
side, who have given in their testimony relative to that 
particular transaction. The whole squadron of these 
negative gentlemen, who have pranc'd it about over 
reams of paper, for purposes too obvious, and who have ' 
taken such wonderful pains to prove that these bat- » 
talions who sustain'd the charge of the enemy, at this » 
particular point of action, were posted independent of » 
my order, and that the guns were unsupporte I and un- ' 
covered. This whole squadron of negatives, I say, 
would have been so compleatly overturn'd by even a 
single individual out of the respectable list of affirm- 
ants who have appear'd in Court to prove the contrary, 
that I need not add a word on the subject. 

These battalions having sustain'd with gallantry, and 
return'd with vigor, a very considerable fire, were at 
length successively forced over the bridge ; the rear I 
brought up myself. 1 then addressed His Excellency in 
these words : " Sir, here are my troops ; how is it youi' 
pleasure that I should dispose of them ? Shall I form 


them in your front, alUne them with your main l)0(ly, or 
draw them up in the rear ? " He answered tliat I 
should arrange them in the rear of English Town. 

So far at this time from conceiving ourselves as l)eaten 
or disgracM, that I really thought, taking into con- 
sideration all circumstances, the various contradictory 
and false intelligence, disobedience or mistakes in some 
officers, ju'ecipitancy in others, ignorance of tlie ground, 
want of * cavalry, — that it was the flower of the British 
army we had to deal with — Considering all these cir- 
cumstances, I repent, so fai' \vas I from conceiving our- 
selves as })eaten or disgrac'd, that I really thought tlie 
troops entitled to the highest honor ; and that I mystdf, 
instead of the thundering charges brought against me, 
had merited some degree of applause fi*om the G^iit^i'al 
and from the Public. And I solemnly ju'otest, that at 
this instant when I address'd the General, I was totally 
ignorant that a man of my corps had filed off to his 
rear, Avithout his j)ai'ticular orders ; I was ignorant of 
it that night, I was ignorant of it next day ; nay, I ])ro- 
test to God I remainM in this ignorance till long after 
this present Court-Martial was assembled. And I beg 
leave once more to observe, that I cannot think mys^elf 
responsible for it, as I had taken every nieans in my 
power to i)i*event it; but that it must be attributed to 
the defects in the constitution of the army, which only 
perha})S wants a more j)ei'fect system and (economy to 
lender it the best in the world. When I an-ived at 
English Town Creek, I found the Baron Stubens em- 
ployed in the business which had been enjoined me : I 
was extremely glad of it, as I thought myself now at 
liberty to retiu'n to the field of action, which (as soon 
as my Aid-de-Camps had changed their horses, both of 
w^hicli had been w^ounded), I did, and offered to His 
Excellency my sen'ices in any duties where they could 
be reqnired. 

The conversation I held w^ith Ilis Excellency has been 
introduced into Court by such a variety of evidences, 
and seems to have been dw^ell'd upon with so much stress 


(although from my soul I cannot see for what pur- 
poses), that I shall endeavour to recollect the terms lit- 
erally ; but to give precisely the idea I at that time con- 
ceived, or even at this instant conceive, of the greater 
part of the import of it, is really out of my powei". I 
trespass on the time and patience of the Court in at- 
tempting it. When I arrived first in his piesence, con- 
scious of having done nothing that could draw on the 
least censure, but rather flattering myself with his con- 
gi*atulation and applause, I confess I was disconcerted, 
astonished and confounded by the words and maimer 
in which His Excellency accosted me ; it was so novel 
and unexpected fi*om a man, whose discretion, humani* 
ty and decorum I had from the first of our acquaint-* 
ance stood in admiration of, that I was for some timet 
incapable of making any coherent answer to questions, 
so abrupt and in a great measure to me unintelligible. • 
The terms, I think, were these — "I desire to know, 
sir, what is the reason — whence arises this disorder 
aud confusion i " (the manner in which he expressed 
them was nuich stronger and more severe than the ex- 
pressions themselves.) When I had recover'd myself* 
sufficiently, I answered, That I saw or knew of no con-% 
fusion but what naturally arose from disobedience of * 
orders — contradictory intelligence — and the imperti-* 
nencH and presumption of individuals, who were vested 
with no authority, in intruding themselves in matters 
above them and out of their sphere : That the retreat, 
in the first instance, was contrary to my intentions, con- 
trary to my orders, and contrary to my wishes. I even 
particularized ; I said General Scott, at the head of the 
troops on the left, had gone off without authority, and 
that the falling back of the troops on the right could 
be ascribed to no reason that I could divine, unless the 
I'etiring of some guns over the ravine involuntarily but 
necessarily, from the want of ammunition, had been con- 
sider'd as a signal for a general retreat. I added, I 
think, that had I remain'd longer in the situation I 
had been in, the risque so greatly overbalanced any ad- 


vantages that could possibly have been gainM that I 
thought it my duty to act as I had done. To which he 
replied — "All this may be very true, Sir, but vououcrht 
not to have undertaken it unless you intended to go 
througli with it." Now^, wOiat His Lxcellency meant l)y 
saying that I should not have undertaken what I had 
no intention of going through with, I confess I did not 
then, nor do I at this day, understand. I had set out 
in the morning, as has been already observ'd, with the 
idea that it was His Excellency's intention that I should 
strike some important but partial blow, and I had en- 
deavoured, in the manner related, to execute these in- 
tentions. This is what 1 conceived I had undertaken, 
and Avhat I endeavoured to go through with. As to 
my own meaning in saying tlie risque overbalanced the 
aclvantages to be gained, ivc, I know what it was, and 
think 1 can explain it: It was, that after 1 had been 
disai)i)ointed in my first plan, and after the retreat in 
the first instance had taken j)lace, by the means which 
the Court is already accpiainted with, there was no one 
position in the whole theatre, which, to me, appeared good 
enough to promise us any advantages to counter! )alance 
the serious loss we should evidently liave hazarded by 
remaining in it. There w^ere some expressions (1 can- 
not precisely recollect them) let fall by the General, 
which, at the instant, convey'd to me an idea that he 
had adopted new sentiments, and that it Avas his wish 
to brin<r on a general eni;fa(::ement. This idea drew from 
me some sentences, such as related in Colonel Tilghman's 
evidence. It remainVl A\dth me for some moments, but 
w^as entirely banish VI by what subsequently passed ; foi* 
when (on the sup[)osition that not a man had filed oft in 
his rear without his innnediate orders,) I requested to 
know His Excellency's j)le^sure, how I should dispose 
of the troops ; Avhether 1 should form them in front, al- 
line with the main body, or draw them up in his reavi 
and instead of approving any of these ]>ropositions, he 
ordered me to arran^je them in the rear of Enirlish- 
Town Creek, at three miles distance, I was more cun- 


firm'd than ever in the original idea I had set out with, 
viz. : that it never was his intention to court or hazard 
a general engagement. I must beg leave to observe 
once more, that, in my opinion, eveiy circumstance rel- 
ative to this conversation is rather a trespass on the 
time and patience of the Court, as j>osterior conversa- 
tion can never overturn facts established by strong and 
numerous evidences ; but as it has been introduced, 
and so much stress has been apparently laid upon it, I 
could not be silent on the subject l.^ 

I shall noAV beg leave to make a few observations on 
part of some of the different evidences that have beeni 
produced in Court. 

The only comment I shall make on the evidence of 
the Manjuis of Fayette will be on that part where he 
mentions, That having receiv'd orders to attack the 
enemy's left, counter orders were given before he had 
proceeded one-quarter of the way necessary. The fact 
IS, The only order I sent the Marquis from the time I 
gave him orders for attack to the time I saw him my- 
self in rear of the ravine, was that by Mr. Steth, the 
light-horse officer, mentioned in that gentleman's evi- 
dence as the first sent by him, which was after I had 
received the account of General Scott's retreat. 

The Marcjuis does not, throughout his whole evidence,, 
hint that he himself received my orders to retreat; 
what he says positively contradicts such a surmise. His 
words are to this effect : That he undei'stood such orders 
had come officially from General Lee, and he thought 
such orders would come of course, for looking behuid 
him he found himself at tlie head of Colonel Living* 
ston's regiment alone. Upon the whole, I cannot but* 
conjecture that these orders were deliver'd to the wrong • 
person, which Avill appear very probable in the manner* 
this body of tr(X)j)s march'd (the regiments at some dis** 
tance from each other), which must indeed be one of 
the principal reasons for my sending that order by Mr. 
Steth, as they were then so near the enemy as to render 
extremely dangerous their marching in so broken a line.. 
Vol. IIL— 13 


It was a step tliat the Marquis would naturally take 
wlieu he fouud himself in this situation, to order tliat 
battalion back ; and the retreat l)eing tlius conunenced, 
I am not surprized at its V)eing continued, as the com- 
manding officer was ignorant of my intentions. 

But that a retreat was in direct o])position to my then ' 
wnsh, I think is evidently evinced by my ordering l)ack' 
some retiring artillery long after my sending this ordeiy 
as Colonel Oswald and Captain Steth have l)oth provM.. 

The reason w^hy I did not appear dissatisiied witli* 
the Marquis, I have taken occasion to explain in my. 
narrative, and need only here add, that it Avas a fortu-» 
nate mistake. In truth, when I call to mind the' 
several circumstances of this day, the only omission* 
with which I can justly upl)raid myself is, that I did- 
not, on first receivins^ intelliscence of General Scott's* 
having abandoned the wood on our left, immediately 
•order a retreat on the right. 

^' Here 1 beg leave to observe, that what comments I» 
shall make on the evidence produc'd in prosecuti<m, will* 
be done with the utmost candor and dispassion, and in* 
such a manner, I hope, as can only appear an a])j)eal to* 
the good sense and reason of the Court. Geiierah 
Wayne says that he made frequent requests to me by 
his Aid-de-Cam])s in the course of the (hiy, and that* 
he made them in vain; one while to reinforce him, • 
for that the enemy were precipitately retiring, and 
that then was the time to press them; another instant, 
when they made an halt, he was as fully convinced 
that it was their intention to attack, and of course a 
Teinf or cement Avas equally necessary ; or rather in his 
language he requested that I should push up the whole 
troops. I could not help being surprizVl, and expiess- 
ing my surprize, that every appearance of retreat in 
the enemy, and every halt they made, should ])ass upon 
him, the one as the effect of fright and necessity, and. 
the other as a serious design ;(^I laughed at his notions,y 
and said that he nmst expect twenty such feints in the 
couj'se of the day, for that it was the common practice 


on Similar occasions. But, in the name of God, liad I 
been weak enough to humour the General, what couKl 
we possibly have effected { The utmost Ave could have 
done would have been just what Avas conti'ary to our 
interest. We would have drove the covering party 
back towards the main body, or we would have drawn 
l)ack the main body to the support of the covering 
party ; the two very things we ought most to depre- 
cate. In every point of view, on every principle, the f 
attack committed to his conduct ought to have Avorn 
rather the appearance of diffidence than confidence. 
He was sufficiently strong to answer every end pur- 
posed, and I endeavoured, by my Aid-de-Camp, to make 
him sensible of it. To spend the })rincipal part of 
your force l)y an immediate attack on the rear of an 
army in retreats, when a fair prospect is open of mak- 
ing an im])ression on both flanks, is so absurd a scheme, 
that it would l)e an affront to the Court to attempt 
demonstrating it. Colonel Durgee had been detach'd ; 
I was immediately to fall on their left flank ; Colonel 

• Morgan had received his previous orders to fall on 
' their right flank as his discretion should ilirect ; for to 

• this gentleman, when the general principle had been 
ex])lain'd, an abnost absolute discretionary power was 

• necessary. It was uncertain, and must be uncertain, 

• on what particular point of the enemy's flank he could 
1)0 at any moment of the day ; to have sent any ])ar- 
ticular orders, therefore, to him how precisely to con- 
duct himself, would have been idle, impertinent, and 
vain. In short, from the circumstances of our situa- 
tion. Colonel Morgan must be left to his own discre- 
tion. But to return from this digression. I do not 
mean to depreciate the value of General Wayne, (I 
believe him to be a most thoroughly brave man,) but I 
cannot help observing, that from the moment he took 
command of the advanced corps he seem'd to think the 
whole executive duties of the day transferr'd to him, 
and that he had nothing to do but to make demands for 
any number of troops he thought proper to dispose of, 


just as his notions for tlie moment should dictate. In 
another part of his evidence he says he sent ^lajor 
Fishboume to request that I wouhl at least send hack 
part of the ti'oops to protect General Scott from the 
imminent danger he was in. I remember veiy well 
receiving a message by Major Lenox, who was distinct 
and clear, (though he unfortunately did not remain long 
enough to give me an opportunitv of explaining my 
intentions,) but I am almost positive that I never saw 
Major Fishbourne from the l)eginning of tlie affair to 
the ending, (once in the wood excepted,) who was at 
that time so very far from being distinct and clear, 
that 1 i)aid very little attention to what he said. I 
may possibly be mistaken, but 1 am sure if he had de- 
livered me such a message, I should have been quite at 
my ease about General Scott, who had with him by far 
the greatest part of the detachment under my com- 
mand, and whom I had left in the least dangerous ])oint 
of the whole field of action. In fact, the right hud 
more occasion for support from the left by far than the 
left from the few troops on the right. 

General Wayne, in another place, is pleas'd to give* 
his opinion to the Court that the western margin of the. 
ravine would have been an excellent position; but as. 
this is merely a matter of opinion, and I have already* 
given my reasons for thinking it an execrable one, I. 
shall not trouble the Court with a word on the subject.. 

lie expresses, it seems, a sovereign contenij)t for cav- 
alry, and says, that if they had attempted to havetui-n'd. 
our flanks, he would have march'd out and have di-ove. 
them. The idea is magnanimous, but I much d<)ul)t. 
whether he would have found it so easy in practice as, 
in assertion. Whether a corps of infantry of ecpial, 
number with a corps of cavalry, front to front, is suj)e-, 
rior or inferior, has been often a matter of dispute. But^ 
that a corps of cavalry turning the flank of a corj)s of in- 
fantry, consisting of a single line only, without even a» 
body of reserve, and of course without su])port, is a cir- 


ciimstance to be despisVl, is a discoveiy now for the 
first time made. 

The free comments I have taken the liberty of mak- 
ing on General Wayne's evidence, may possibly be 
attributed to resentment, as it is j)ul)licly said tliat he 
has been one of the principal actors in my prosecution; 
I heg leave to set the Court riglit ; I do not harbour tlie 
least resentment as^ainst him. On the contrarv, from 
all I have been able to collect of iiis cliaracter, 1 am 
persuaded he acted fi'om an honest principle and a 
conviction that I liad not done my duty ; and I have no 
doubt that had he l)een well inforniM of the whole cir- 
cumstances of the day, I should, instead of a prosecutor, 
have found in him a friend and advocate. 

It has been asked, when I had been informed that 
General Scott had quitted the post I imagined he was 
in, Wherefore I did not send to inquire where he Avas ? 
My real reason was, that as I wjis uncertain to what 
point he was retir'd, I did not choose to dispatch one 
of my Aid-de-Camps on an errand which might prove 
as fruitless as the former: When both of them had 
})een sent with orders to him (on that occasion I felt 
the inconvenience of being unattended), I had imme- 
diate occasion for them in a variety of important Inisi- 
ness : Indeed, had I l)een furnished with half a dozen 
more I should have had full employment for them all. 
It certainly was his duty, when he quitted the ground 
he had l)een marched up to, from his own authoiity, 
necessarily or unnecessarily, to inform me of it — assign 
the reasons, and request to know what was to be done : 
He j)robably might have had reasons, or what to him 
might appear reasons, for his conduct ; but undoubtedly 
I should have been acquainted with it. I here must 
observe, that if I had been guilty of an inadvertency in 
this article (which I am persuaded in my o\m mind I 
Mas not), it would be the first instance of a General's 
})eing called to account for a single omission ; twenty 
are committed by every General in the hurry of action, 
which (if the general tenor of his conduct is that of a 


calm, attentive and active officer) pass uneensurM an<l 
uno]>servV]. I appeal for the trutli of tliis to all tliose 
wlio have been in actions and near tlie j)er8ons of Gene- 
rals, even of the best ; and to speak with l)econiing 
confidence, the tenor of my conduct, was that at least 
of a calm, attentive, and active officer, and I may, with- 
out presumption, insist, that in this article the omission 
was (Jeneral Scott's, not mine. 

Now I am uj)on the suV)ject of the several inadver- 
tencies and omissions imputed to me, I must advert to 
one that seems to have been considered not as the least, 
viz., My having neglected to send intelligence to His 
Excellency of my situation ; but no j)oint, I think, can 
be more easily cleared up than this. At the time I had 
formed a plan and entertained hopes of executing it, 
the means were fortunately found of comnuniicatin2: 
my design and hopes of success, as it ])r<)ved by the 
evidence of Mr. M'llenry and Major Gilman. But 
when, from the circumstances already related, this 
])lan was defeated, and I had no longer hopes of 
success, my situation took a new face. My business 
was then, of course, to look out for a position 
where the troops could receive the eneniy and baffie 
their attack, for at this time it was manifest they 
intended to attack us. The country was un-reconnoi- • 
tered, but I from moment to moment flattered myself • 
that I should find out a suitalde position for this ])ur-' 
pose. My intention was certainly never to make a • 

S general retreat. One while, from its first aj)j)earan(»e, • 
. thought the western side of the ravine, with the 
Court-liouse on our right flank, would have answered, 
but upon examination and reflection, this ap])eari'(l, 
from the reasons already exj)lainM, an execrable one. 
The next that occurred was the eminence mentioned to 
be reconnoitered by Monsieur Portail, and al)andi>ned 
for reasons full as stronc:. And here, if my memory does 
not fail me, I sent His Excellency information of my 
design by a young gentleman introduc'd to me for that 
purpose by Colonel Meade. The third and last ^^'as, in ^ 


my judgment, the only one wliicli I could, without risk- ' 
ing tlie fate of my whole detachment to an evident dis- * 
advantage, really occupy ; and this^ I determined to 
occuj)y, and should certainly have informed His Excel- 
lency of my situation if I had not been prevented by 
his arrival : But to have sent one of the few attendants 
I had about me to the General, merelv to inform him 
that I was looking for a position, before I knew where 
this position would be, would liave been distressing 
myself without conveying any useful information. In 
fact, I had no idea that His Excellency meant to move 
from English-Town, where I was informed he was 

i)osted, by a letter from Colonel Fitzgerald to Colonel 
^aureus, put into mj" hands ; and that situiition ap- 
j)eared to me the V)est calculated to support my corps 
of any I knew of in that country, with which I was 
totally unac([uainted : And farther than measures that 
would rehite to my support, it would have been pre- 
sumption in me to give any opinion. 

I would here ])eg leave to make an o])servation on 
what seems to have been thouii^ht of no small conse- 
quence in the course of this trial, I mean the ascertain- 
ing the numbers of the enemy; it is a question that 
has been asked all the officers who have ai)peared in 
Court. It must be a very peculiar situation when^ an 
officer can or will emi)loy himself in counting heads, for, 
as every Genenxl makes it his Imsiness to conceal his 
force as much as possible, the visil)le })art of the oj)])o- 
nent army is often the least. In most situations tlie 
estimate must be made by inferences drawn from their 
interests and their manceuvres. I had myself different 
ideas of their numbers at different j)eriod8 of the day ; 
for instance, I was once warranted to conclude, that 
those inmiediately in our presence were al)out 2,000 

When we issued into the plain, I was convinc'd this 
corj)s was larger, and when we were at the Courthouse 
I couhl have uiferr'd from this single manceuvre, their 
bearing down on our right, that still a much more im- 


port ant corps was near at hand ; I say I should have 
been convinc'd from inference alone, although I had' 
never received the positive intelligence I did of another* 
ffreat column advancing from their ri<^ht, I should have* 
been convinced fin^m inference, by this manoeuvre, if* 
this c*olumn bearing dowTi upon our right liad l)een the* 
whole, it would have l>een in air, — a piece of insanity* 
one cannot suppose their genei*als c^jiable of. In fine, • 
at this period, I had no doubt witliin myself of their ' 
whole army, at least their whole flying army, being in * 
the field, but their number is now pretty well ascer- 
tained ; they were, it appears, composed of the guards, 
the Britisli and Hessian grenadiers, the British light 
infantry, the yagers and Queen's rangers, all the cav- 
alry, with two covering British brigades, and after- 
w^ards I understood two more were added ; if tlie merits 
or demerits of our manoeuvres were to depend on the 
estimate of heads, w^e certainly merited no censure, as • 
at tlie time I ordered a retrograde manoeuvre, 1 had' 
not 1,500 men with me. ' 

There is one part of Colonel Hamilton's evidence I 
cannot help animad veiling upon; it has hui-t me l)e- 
cause it is even an impeachment of my qualifications as 
an oflScer, And it has hurt me the more, as it comes fiom 
a man of esteem VI sen«e, and whose valour I myself \\ as 
a witness of, althoujjh it is not that sort of valour, unless 
by practice and phuosopliy ha can correct, will i^ver be 
of any great use to the community. The Colonel is 
pleased to allow me personal intrepidity, Imt that tliere 
Aj)peared in me that hurry of spiiits wliich may proceed 
from a temper not so calm and steady as is necessary 
to support a man in such critical circiunstances. 

Now, in answer to all this fine language, I shall only 
repeat, as nearly as j)ossible, the conversation tliat 
passed l)etween us. 

When General Washington asked me whether I 
would remain in front and retain the <?omman(b or he 
should take it, and I had answered that I undoubtedly 
w^ould, and that he should see that I myself should be 


one of tJie last to leave the field, Colonel Hamilton 
floiirisliing his sword, immediately exclaimed, tliat's 
riglit, my dear General, and I will stay, and we will 
all die here on this spot I must observe, that this hill 
was by no means a position to risk anything further 
than the troops then halted on it, with which I intended 
to cover my corps in their passage over the bridge, and 
give the enemy a check, to gain time for General Wash- 
mgton to make a disposition of the army. As this was 
the principle on which the hill was defended, I could 
but be sui^prized at his expression, but observing him 
much flustered and in a sort of frenzy of valour, I calmly 
requested him to observe me well and to tell me if I 
did not appear tranquil and master of my faculties; 
his answer was, that he must own that I was entirely 
possessed of myself ; well, then (said I), you must allow 
me to be a proper judge of what I ought to do. Sir (I 
added) if you will tatke pains to examine that hill in 
our front, you will perceive that it so eminently com- 
mands this we are on, that it would be unpardonable 
to risk anything more on it than what necessity will 
oV)lige us ; as to myself, I am as ready to die as what 
you possibly can be, but I am responsible for something 
more than my own person, I am responsiV)le to the Gen- 
eral and to the continent for the troops I have been en- 
trusted with. When I have taken proper measures to 
get the main body of them in a good position, I will 
die with you on this spot, if you please. 

If Colonel Hamilton's sentiments were really opposite 
to what his precise words were, I cannot help thinking 
it somewhat extraordinary that he and Colonel Laurens 
should have seen Avith so very different optics from 
those of every other gentleman who had an opportunity 
of observing me that day. 

To Colonel Fitzgerald's, and more particularly to 
Colonel Harrison's evidence, (as they really appear to 
me to mean nothing,) I can say nothing ; the whole is 
one tissue of negatives, opinions and comments upon 
opinions of those who had seen nothing and knew noth- 


inc^, collected ejradiially through all the successive ranks 
of tlie army, from fifers up to Colonels ; they supj)Ose 
the guns were not coverM because they did not liajipen 
to see, during the short time they staid, a regiment (ex- 
actly allined with these guns, without taking the ])ains 
to inform themselves whether there was not suflic-ient 
force whose cross fire effectually did cover them. They 
sui)pose I issued no orders, because they di<l not liear 
me issue orders, without ])eing informed \\'hether every 
necessary order had not been i)reviouslv iriven throuirh 
the pro])er channel and conveyed to the projier j)ersons. 
They suppose that no arrangement was made because 
they saw no display of line, without taking time to con- 
sider wliether, from the nature of the country, and the 
nature of the manceuvre, a disjday of line was possi])le, 
and whether, if it had been possible, it wouhl not have 
been ])ernicious : To such evidences, I re])eat, I can re- 
ply nothing, because they amount to nothing. A single 
affirmant out of the respectable list that lias aj)peaied| 
in Court (and which, if I had cliosen, might liave been 
still more resj)ectal)le), to ])rove that the guns were well 
supported, and the battalions received j)roj)er ordtM's, 
and every arrangement made, which the nature of the 
country and the nature of the man<euvre would a<lmit. 
A single affirmant out of this respectable list, whom 
circumstances and situations qualified to know minutely 
what was done and what was not done, is sufficient to 
overturn a whole s(piadron of negatives, opinion colh^ct 
ors, and dealers in induction from mistaken and unas 
certained facts. 

Of all the very distant spectators of the manoeuvres 
on this day, and those a very trifling j)art of them, the 
Baron Stul)ens is, I think, the only gentleman who has 
stepj)'d forth to prove their demerits; he has certainly 
shewn a very laudable zeal for ])ri;nii:inii: a criminal 
officer to condign ])unishment; but the next time he 
takes th(^ field of prosecution in the cause of an injured 
community, I hope his prudence will dictate to him the 
necessity of being furnished with a better a])])aratus. 


As to Monsieur Lanorfranor's relation of the very curious 
conversation we had together (a gentleman of wliose 

1)erson at that time, and of what capacity he acted in, 
- am at this day totally ignorant), all I can say is, that 
either my memory negatively, or his must actively, 
wretchedly have failed us, as I do not recollect tliat I 
ever uttered a single syllable of it ; but I can assure 
Monsieur Langfran<j, that should he ever honour me with 
his j)resence on a similar occasion, I shall think myself 
justifiable in making use of any means to render the 
honour as short as ])ossible 

To the introduction of Dr. Griffith's evidence into 
Court I took the liberty of objecting, on more than one 
prinidple. In the fii*st place I objected to it, because 
j)ost(a*ior conversation, as I have already ol)served, can- 
not overturn facts establish'd by strong and variety of 
evidence. In the second place, because when I ex- 
pi'essed an a]>pi'ehension for the fate of the day, I was 
conscious that I alluded to tilings which had no reference 
to my crimination or exculpation with respect to any 
one of the charges brought against me ; I alluded to cer- 
tain measures which I apj)renended were then in agita- 
tion to be ])ursued, and which I thought extremely dan- 
gerous. I was so very anxious on this head, as I knew 
llis Excellency was unaccjuainted with the nature of 
the country before him, that 1 thought it my duty to re- 

1 present its vices to him; and Colonel Meade, by whom 
' addressed my sentiments on this occasion, could, if 
necessary, explain my meaning fully. I ol)jected to it 
for a still more substantial and extensive princij)le, 
because I think quoting conversations betwixt man and 
man, is establishing a precedent subversive of the laws 
of humanity; it must infect with jealousy that con- 
fidence which constitutes the sweetest blessing of so- 
ciety, must put us under that })erpetual guard, restric- 
tion, and diffidence, which would render the liberties 
you have been fighting for of no value. For my own 
part, I think, that although liberty may formally be 
established by every law that can be impressed on 



parchment, if such manners as these are introduced, if 
we are to live in eternal circumspection, if all we throw 
out in our ruffled, or unguarded moment, we are just as 
miserable as the wretched French under the tyrannical 
administration of Richlieu and Mazarine ; and that I 
was extremely ruffled at the time I happened to fall in 
with Dr. Griffith, must be naturally supposed ; I con- 
fess I was ruffled to an extreme degree ; I was conscious 
of having done my duty, and more than barely done 
my duty ; I flattered myself with congratulation and 
applause, instead of which, I was accosted witli the 
most disgraceful reproach ; but I must do Doctor Grif- 
fith the justice to declare, that I am convinced he was 
not a volunteer on this occasion, but unwarily dragg'd 
into it. 

Tlie two letters I addressed to the General constitute 
the third article of the charges brought against me. 
The merit or demerit of these letters do not depend so 
much on the literal construction as on the circumstances 
which gave rise to them. I must entreat eveiy mem- 
ber of the Court to conceive himself in my situation 
for a moment. I arrived in His Excellency's presence 
witliout the least suspicions of having merited the re- 
ception I was to meet with. Conscious of having done 
and more than barely done my duty, conscious tliat I 
had, to the utmost of my power, obeyed his instruc- 
tions, and endeavoured to fulfil his expectations, that 
when my first plan had been defeated, and the first 
retreat taken place, contrary to my intentions and 
orders, by the means already explained, I had, as I 
somewhere and to somebody expressed it, made the 
best of a bad bargain. The country w^e had been 
thrown into w^as un-reconnoitered by us, and undoubt- 
edly well known to the enemy ; the ground in all 
respects to us unfavourable ; one ravine after another 
presented itself in our rear ; the margin on the side of 
the enemy always commanding that on our's ; not a 
pioneer with proper tools in our whole detachment ; 
the enemy furnished with a strong and excellent corps 


of cavalry, we unprovided ; tlieir niiml)ers, as from 
every intelligence, has been proved superior to our's, 
and composed of the flower of their army ; from tlie 
extreme point from whence the retreat in the first 
instance took place, to the eminence where the General 
and the army were afterwards arrangM, a space of two 
miles and a half ; tlie time employed in retrograding 
from one position manifestly bad to anotlier, which 
had the appearance of being better, not less than three 
hours ; and notwithstanding all these difficulties arising 
from disobedience or mistakes of orders, ignorance 
of the country, of the force of the enemy, tlie unfa- 
voural)leness of ground, it was perform'd without the 
loss of a single piece of artillery, a single ))attalion, or 
even a single company — the artillery properly j^osted, 
served and supported. — The only point in the interme- 
diate space wliere it was proper and necessary that our 
battalions should remain until the enemy came within 
reach of their musketry, was vigorously and effectually 
availed of. An attempt indeed has been made nega- 
tively to prove that this was done independently of my 
order. But so strong has been the affirmatives to the 
contrary, that this 1 must think will share the same 
fate as, I flatter myself, will be that of the other nega- 

In this perfect conviction of mind, thus thoroughly per- 
suaded that I had done, and more than barely done my 
duty, that I had obeyed to the utmost of my powei' the 
instructions, and endeavoured to fulfil the expectations 
of the General, and that, when my first design had 
failed, and affairs had, from unforeseen events, assumed 
a different aspect, that I had not only extricated the 
detachment entrusted to my command from a most dan- 
gerous situation, without loss or disgrace, but under many 
disadvantages baffled and checkVi the enemy ; I must en- 
treat, I say, every member of the Court to substitute 
himself for a moment in my pl^ce, and then to ask his 
own breast, if instead of the congratulation and applause 
lie expected, lie had been received witli slight and re- 


piwioh. ho tliH-s not think it possible to Avrite a letter in 
siK-h or stnniijrtT terms than mine, Avithout l)ein2r acta- 
Htoa hy an unruly and contumacious sjnrit? or whetlier 
t\\v\ aiv not sucli as the honest sentiment of a man who 
tH>neeives himself injured, must naturally insj)ire ? I 
must l>eg leave, likewise, to observe to the Court, tliat 
from the time this, as to me it appeared, cruel injustice 
was done me, to the time I wrote the first letter, was an 
interval I believe of more than forty hours ; during 
which I waited in sanguine hopes that His Excellency 
would be better informed of facts, and that the instant 
he was undeceiv'd, he would make me some apology for 
the mistake lain under ; And I solemnly declare that my 
disj)osition of mind was such, as to have been satisfied 
with the most moderate that could have been devised, 
as I considei*ed it in some respects for the interest of 
His Excellency, whom I had ever lov'd and esteeniM, 
for my own in many respects, and let me add, for the 
satisfaction, at least, of the Continent, that no aj)j)ear- 
ance of animosity or even misunderstanding, betwixt 
men they had so highly entnisted, should be jmblished 
to the world ; but when, instead of the apology I had 
flattered myself with, these thundering charges were 
brought against me, comj)rehending the blackest mili- 
tary crimes of the whole black catalogue, I was more 
than confounded, I was thrown into a stupor, my 
whole faculties w^ere for a time benunun'd ; I read and 
read it over a dozen times, and thought it still a delu- 
sion, but when I wakM and was convinc'd of the reali- 
ty, I sat down and wrote the second letter, which it 
seems constitutes a part of my criminality. Perha])s I 
am blinded by self-])rejudice, but I confess, so far from 
this letter appearing to me in a criminal light, that I 
cannot help being persuaded that there is scarcely, or 
not a single Member of this Court, who would in simi- 
lar circumstances have been more moderate. 

But here I must, in iustice to His Excellency, observe, 
that when I imputed his conduct towards me, to misre- 
presentation and misinformation, I was ignorant of a 


third circumstance. I was ignorant of it at the time I 
wrote those letters, and I protest solemn!)-, I was igno- 
rant of it till long aft(T this Court-]\Iartial sat ; I mean 
the filing off of ])art of the tr()oj)s of my detachment 
beyond the eminence proposed for my j)osition ; these 
the General met in his march from English-Town, and 
hastily concluded, I must be void of all attention ; l)Ut 
that this was contraiy to my intention and oiders, has 
l)een rej)eatedly observed, and is what I think myself 
by no means responsible, for the reasons already given. 
Kow, had His Excellency fortunately have called me to 
him, everything, I make no doubt, would have been 
settled and explained to his satisfaction, and 1 am con- 
vinced this unhappy lousiness would never have fallen 

I have now, gentlemen, endeavoured to exculpate my- 
self from the two first charges brought against me ; I 
lio})e effectually. The last must be judged of by your 
feeling and the depending circumstances ; I am so con- 
scious in my own mind, that my conduct through the 
whole of this affair has been irreproachable, and have 
so great reliance on the candor, good sense and. integri- 
ty of the gentlemen who sit in judgment upon me, that 
as far as my own personal fame and fortunes are con- 
cern'd, I am perfectly at ease ; but as a j)ublic man, my 
uneasiness is very great, as I cannot helj) thinking, that 
the least appearance of dissension, animosity, or even of 
misunderstanding, betwixt men of so high rank amongst 
those engaged in the most righteous cause that ever 
mortals were engaged in, is a misfortune to the commu- 
nity and some sort to humanity; but I console myst^lf 
with this reflection, that this appearance, which at an- 
other period might have been attended with the worst 
consequences, can now at the utmost only aff<M'd poor 
temporary matter of sneer and exultation to the enemies 
of America, of Liberty, and in fact the Rights of Man- 

The Court adjourns 'till nine o'clock to-morrow*morn- 



AUGUST lOtli. 

The Court met according to adjournment, and ad- 
journs 'till to-morrow at nine o'clock. 

AUGUST 11th. 

The Court met according to adjournment, and ad- 
journs 'till to-morrow at ten o'clock. 

AUGUST 12th. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

Tlie Court having considered the first charge against 
Major-General Lee, the evidence and his defence, are of 
opinion, tliat he is guilty of disobedience of orders, in 
not attacking the enemy on the 28th of June, agreeal)le 
to rej)eated mstructions ; being a breach of the latter 
i)art of article 5th, section 2d of the Articles of Wai*. 
The Court haviniy considered the second charii^e ai^ainst 
Major-General Lee, the evidence and his defence, are of 
opinion, he is guilty of misl>ehaviour before the enemy 
on the 28th of June, by making an unnecessary, and in 
some few instances, a disorderly retreat ; being a l>reach 
of the 13th article of the 13th section of the Articles 
of War. The Court liaving considei'etl tlie third charge 
against Major-General Lee, are of opinion, that lie is 
guilty of disrespect to the Commander-in-Chief in two 
letters dated the 1st of July and the 28th of June; 
being a l)reach of the 2d article, section 2d of the 
Articles of War. The Court do sentence Major-(ien- 
eral Lee to be suspended from any command in the 
armies of the United States of North America, for the 
term of twelve months. 

The Court adjoura without day. 

STIRLING, M. G. tind Fresident. 



Complaint against Col. Henrv Jackson. 

[Sullivan's Correspondence (Rev. Letters) iii. 15, 17.] 

The subscribers induced by a regard to tlieir honor 
and reputation represent — 

That many gentlemen of General Washington's 
army have very freely delivered sentiments unfavor- 
able to the detachments under the command of CoP. 
Henry Jackson respecting their conduct at the Battle 
of Monmouth. 

The subscribers are conscious of their disposition to 
do their duty ever in the field, and are convinced of 
their readiness on the Plains of Monmouth, while they 
felt the keenest sensations, in being ordered off so pre- 
cipitately, and so early in the action, when other Regi- 
ments, not less fatigued, were ordered to the ground 
and acquired credit. 

Tliis defect, the subscribers presume, by the be- 
haviour of CoP. Jackson on that day was owing to his 
misconduct, confusion & disobedience of orders. 

The subscnbers, superior to malev^olence, and above 
a disposition to injure any character, do openly protest 
against CoK Heniy Jackson's conduct, anci in the 
strongest terms recommend he should be called to 
answer for his misdemeanors before a Court appointed 
by authority. 

This the subscribers do from the best of motives, a 
reverence for their own honor, and a love of Justice. 

Jidy 2(ith 1778. 

Leml^l Trescott, Capt In Col"". Heiile\f% Re^. 

Ezra Lunt, Capt. OoV. Henley"^. 

Joshua Orme, Capt GoV". Lee^s. 

Til Cartwright, Capt CoV*. tFackson^a. 

Nath** Jarvis, Capt CoV. Jackson's. 

James Jones, Capt Do. 

Thomas Lieut. Do. 

Vol. IIL— 14 


Pat^ Piielon, Lieut in CoV. Htnlerfs Ile(f* 

Ricii^ Walker, Lieut in CoV. t/acksoii^s Ile(f. 

William Davis, iJitto. 

Sa^iuel Rodgers, Lieut CoV". Ilenleifs Re<f. 

Thomas Turner, Lieut CoV. Ja<j1cso)tH Re(f. 
Thomas Edwards, Ad]t of CoV*. Lee^s lieif, 

James Carson, A(ljt CoV". JackmiHa li^'if- 

Ja'. Otis, Ens. Cot". Jachson^s li€(/, 

William Barber, Ermgn CoV*. IL Jachsou^s I^<^if- 

Proceedings, etc. 

At a Court of Encjuiiy held at the Court House in 
Providence, April 17*^ 1779, by order of the HofiLle 
Major General Gates to enquire into and state 
Facts relative to the conduct of Col**. Henry Jack- 
son at the battle of Monmouth he thinking his 
character much injured, & his Reputation highly 
reproached — 

CoV. BiGELOW — President 

IJ. Col Sprout Lt Col\ Vose Kj ^^ 
Majar Ball Major Perkins j 

Col**. Jackson appeared in Person and informed the 
♦Court, as follows — 

Mr. Premient ^* Gentlemen qftlie Cotirt — 

I beg leave to make a few observations l>efore you go 
into the Examination of the Evidence. 

On our march from the Grand Army in July last, in 
Wallingsford in the state of Connecticut a gentleman 
of the corps informed me tliat some of the officers in 
the Detachment under my Command were signing a 
-complaint against me relative to my conduct on the 28'^ 
June at the Battle of Monmouth, and they intended to 
present it to Major General Sullivan on our arrival in 


this Department — As this was the first of my hearing 
or even suspecting but what my conduct on that day 
did me Honor — or if I had committed any little Errors 
on the Day, that Generosity <fe Candor would have put 
the most favoraV)le construction upon it, as it was the 
first time I had ever been in action, <fe the fatigue we 
had gone thro' and the Heat of the Day wei'e such as 
might abate the Ardor of the most experienced and 
veteran soldier — A month had elapsed, which increased 
ray Surprise, as I had not heard a Whisper of the kind 
})efore — The Gentlemen that sign'd it best know their 
Reasons — the Day after our Arrival in this Depart- 
ment the Complaint was presented to Major General 
Sullivan charging me with Misconduct, Confusion & 
Disobedience of Orders on the 28*^ of June, and desir'd 
a Court of Enquiry — but as this Affair was transacted 
at the Grand Army, General Sullivan, with the Advice 
of the General oflicers in this Department postponed 
their Request ; since which I have oeen anxiously wait- 
ing an Opj)ortunity to have the matter thoroughly in- 
vestigated : and seeing no Prospect of going to Head 
Quarters and my Accusers not renewing their applica- 
tion here, I applied sometime since to General Sullivan 
(as my character was hourly suffering by malicious 
Representations) for a Court of Enquiry ; the General 
wrote to his Excellency Gen*. Washington on the sub- 
ject — the Answer to which Letter Brig'. Gen*. Glover 
received, since Gen*. Sullivan left this Department — 
which refer'd General Sullivan to a Resolve of Con- 
gress giving full Power to a Major General in a sepa- 
rate Department to call Courts of Enquiry — On the 
Arrival of Major General I renewed my Application 
which His Excellency was pleased to receive. 

On my being inform'd that Lieut CoP. Smith, who I 
supposed was the principal witness against me (from 
what "some of the Gentlemen had said that signed the 
Complaint) intended to leave this Department with 
General Sullivan and probably would not return & 
as General Sullivan had not received an answer .from 


His Excellency Genl Washington previous to his de- 

Earture, I waited on Gen\ Sullivan & insisted to have 
lieut. Co\ Smith order'd to remain 'till the answer 
should arrive & the Enquiry made. General Sullivan 
reply'd that if he should order him to remain, he knew 
he would immediately resign, and it would be a Pity 
that the Continent should be depriv'd of so valuable an 
officer — the General said he would inform him that I 
had call'd for a Court & he expected every Day an 
Answer from His Excellency ; and if he inclin'd to re- 
main he might act his Pleasure — I inform'd the Gen- 
eral the Reasons, why I insisted on that officers being 
order'd to remain, was that many ill-uatur'd, malicious 
and designing persons might insinuate that I had taken 
the opportunity to have an Inquiry when part of my 
Accusers and the Witnesses they depended on were 
absent. The General replied that he should ever stand 
ready to declare to the World that I had applied to 
him for a Court three weeks before that officer left or 
had the least thought of leaving this Department. The 
morning on which Genei'al Sullivan set out for Head 
Quartei*8, I waited on him to know if he had informed 
L*. CoP. Smith of what had pass'd between us, the Gen- 
eral told me his Hurry had been such that he had not 
mentioned it to him yet, but would immediately — at 
the House at which we dined (as I w^as one of the 
Company that accompanied the General from his Quar- 
ters) the General inform'd me he had convers'd with 
liK Col**. Smith on the subject before mentioned who 
declared that if he was brought before a Court he would 
say forty words in my favour for one against me. About 
half an Hour after I had this Conversation with Gen- 
eral Sullivan, Brig'. Gen\ Varnum desired me to step 
aside with him that he had something to say to me. 
Gen. Varnum then told me he had been in conversation 
with^ L^ CoP. Smith about an hour before respecting my 
behaviour on the 28^^ of June last he then repeated 
everything he had said to Gen. Sullivan <fe even said 


As some of the officers who signed the Complaint are 
at <fe near Boston I bes: leave to hand the Coiii-t a List 
of their Names that they may be sent for. 

Major Trescott appears and relates as follows — 

I was with Col**. Jackson on the 28^ June last at 
English-Town, imder his command, that the Detach- 
ment march'd from there when the sim was about an 
Hour high ; after the detachment had began to march 
I understood that the light Troo})s of the Army was a 
mile or two })efore us ; after marching about three 
miles the Detachment got up with them ; and as they 
were halted, we passed them, and continued our march 
till we had arrived where the enemy encamped the 
night before. There we halted ; and after being sup- 
plied with cartridges we moved on again. About that 
time CoK Butler was ordered to take Post on our Right, 
& we in Conjunction moved on till we came within 
sight of the Enemies' rear. A Party of light Horse 
was on our right to prevent the Enemy from flanking 
of us, who, all at once, halloo'd out to us, for God's 
sake form, for the British Light Horse are upon us. 
U j)on which the word of command was given by some 
person (I cannot tell who) wheel the Platoons to the 
right & form the Line which was immediately done. 
The Party under the command of CoP. Butler filed upon 
the Enemy's light Horse, which occasioned them to re- 
treat We then wheeled by Platoons to the left again 
& continued our march, and after marching about an 
hundred yards we received a shot near the head of the 
column, which was succeeded by several others ; we 
were then ordered to form the line to the Left, which 
brought our Left into a morass & our Right lay under 
a Hill, so that I think the Enemy could discover us. 
After continuing there several minutes Col°. Gravson 
call'd to Col°. Jackson & told him to march his men up 
to that Height. CoP. Jackson ask'd him if he had any 
cannon up there ? I think he still continued the second 
time to ask him — but I am not positive ; about that 


time CoP Jackson gave ordei*s for them to face the 
Left <fe retire by Files to the Left thro' the Morass. 
After we had passed thro' the Morass we came into a 
Wood where we halted. Col. Butler came to me and 
ask'd me if we had any light Horse out. I told him 
that I did not know, but I believed there was no Troops 
out from Detachment; he ask'd me then, where Col**. 
Jackson was, I pointed to a Place where I saw him a 
few minutes before, u})on whicli he left me — In a few 
minutes after we march'd — After marchins^ out of tlie 
wood we came into the Plain, near where we maiched 
down ; before we arrived at the front Line of the Army 
I saw a Gentleman come to CoP. Jackson, who I took, 
to be an Aid-de-Camj) to Gen. Lee, who inform'd CoR 
Jackson that it was General Lee's orders that he should 
form at such a place, where I think there was a fence. 
CoP. Jackson's answer to him was that his Men were 
fatigued and were not able to form. I cannot say 
whether we did form there or not. Before we left the 
Field, I saw Gen\ Lee, who called to CoP. Smith & 
asked him who gave Orders for them Men to retreat ? 
CoP. Smith made answer that he was not commanding 
officer, there was CoP. Jackson, ujX)n which CoP. Jack- 
son came up to Gen^ Lee <fe re[)resented his Retreat as 
a mistake in oixlers ; Gen^ Lee seemed to be very angry, 
and said, by God, Sir, I will let you know that I am 
your General, <fe that you had no Business to leave the 
Field without my Orders. Part of us soon after retired 
to English-Town. 

Question hy CoV*. Jackson : When I received Orders 
fi'om General Lee to move on in front did I not push 
the men forwaid with the greatest cheerfulness in order 
to reach the Front, <fe in doing it was not the men 
pushed so hard that they were entirely overheated and 
fatigued ? 

Answer, I saw no backwardness in you or any one 
Officer or Soldier, and really 1 think the men were push'd 
too hard — 

Questian. Did I not give Orders to the Men, when the 


British light Horse advanced upon us, not to fire till 
orders were given them ; and told them at the same time 
that the first man who dared pull trigger that I would 
cut him down ? 

Answer. Those ordei*s were given generally thro' the 
Line, and I am positive I heard you give such Orders — 

Quest 1071. Do you recollect the light Horse firing on us ? 

A/iswer. I recollect they fired and the whole Detach- 
ment stood in the Line formed in good Order. The 
British liglit Horse immediately retired. 

Question. When we halted in the Wood did not a 
number of men faint on the spot ? 

Answer. I do remember it well and attributed it to 
our marching so fast when we were advancing. 

Question. Do you recollect whether General Lee told 
me he would let me know he was my General before I 
had given him my reasons for retreating or after ? 

Ansiver. General Lee told you so the moment you 
got up to him. 

The Court adjourns till to-morrow morning 9 o'clock. 

APKIL 18TII, 1779. 

The Court met according to adjournment. 

Capt. LuNT appears and relates as follows : On the 
28th of June last our Regiment, under the command of 
Col. Jackson, marched from English Town. Col. Jack- 
son was in the front and hurried the men leather more 
than I think was necessary for Action ; on our March 
we met the Inspector-General, who desired us not to 
march so fast. We marched on to a Wood within a 
mile to where the Light Horse charged us ; and there 
made a Halt for about fifteen minutes in order to de- 
liver out some Cartridges. Then we were ordered to 
parade ; Col. Jackson rode from the Right to the Left 
of the Battalion and gave the Troops a short Harrange, 
I think if I remember the words they were " My Lads, 
if there be any of you who have not a mind to go into 
Action now is the time for you to fall out." The Troops 


all seemed inclinable to go into action. We marclied 
from this place to a Plain where we saw the Enemy, 
and in a little time after some of our Light Horse called 
out, for God's sake form, for the British Light Horse 
are charging us. I was upon the left of the Detach- 
ment when I heard orders given to foim, but who gave 
them I cannot say — The Platoons wheeled instantly to 
the Right and formed ; — as soon as we had formed I 
heard a firing to our left, which I supposed were the 
grenadiers ; 1 afterwards understood it was the party 
under Col. Butler filing at a Party of the British Horse, 
which occasioned them to retreat — We then were 
order'd to wheel to the left and continue our march. 
We soon I'eceived a shot from the enemy's cannon which 
took off the arm of one of the Men at the head of the 
Column, which was followed by several others; I think 
that after receiving this Fire we were ordered to 
wheel to the left and retire to a Hollow, which 1 then 
thought was a very prudent Step as we were out of 
Musquet shot and tney playing upon us with their can- 
non. I heard some Gentleman, who appeared to be an 
Officer, call to Col. Jackson, and desired him to march 
his men up to that Eminence. Col. Jackson asked him 
if he had any Cannon there, I do not recollect hearing 
any answer to the Question — We were then ordered 
directly after to wheel to the left and march thro' the 
Morass in the manner as related by Major Trescott. 
After marching some distance we came into a wood, 
but whether we halted there or not I cannot say. We 
then marched from that wood to a plain where we 
made a small Halt to rest the troops. I then understood 
from Col. Smith that we had orders to form under a 
fence, and there wait till the Enemy should come up. 
Col. Smith marched with one half of the Regiment and 
formed under the fence, whilst the other half had 
retired two or three hundred yards from us. We then 
had orders to join the other part of the Regiment that 
was with Col. Jackson. After joining we retired some 
distance, w^hen I heard Col. Jackson call out to Col. 


Smith and tell him he believed he had got far enough ; 
Col. Smith made answer and said, Depend on it, the 
General means to make a thorough retreat, and we had 
better march back to English Towti. Soon after this I 
fainted, and flung myself into the Wood and lay till near 
Night, when I joined the Party again. 

Question hy Col. tTacTcsan : Do you recollect a Height 
within Pistol shot that commanded the Morass to our 
left and also the Eminence that we obliqued from ? 

Ans^oer. I do. 

Question. If we had been attacked by a Superior 
Force in the Situation that we were in l>efore we moved 
from the left, do you not think that we should have 
been drove into the Morass ? 

Answer. I do. 

Qti^stion. Do you not think the Height I mentioned 
would have afforded us more security against an Attack 
than our first Situation ? 

Answer. I think it would. 

Qitestion hy the President. Did CoP. Jackson ap- 
pear, when he harangued the Troops, as if he did it 
with a design to spirit and encourage them ? 

Answer. It appeared to me that he did. 

Question by Vol**. Jackson. Do you recollect when 
the British Light Horse advanced upon us, that I gave 
orders to the men not to fire, and told them at the same 
time that I would cut the first man down who dare 
pull a trigger without orders ? 

Answer. I recollect there were such orders, but I was 
so far on the left that I could not hear whether you 
gave them or not 

The Court adjourned till 9 o'clock to-morrow morn- 

APKIL 19th, 1777. 

The Court met according to adjournment 

Adj'. Edwards appeal's and relates as follows — I 
march'd with the detachment under the command of 
Col". Jackson on the morning of the 28th of June last, 


from English Town ; we were then in the Rear of the 
Division, but soon had orders to advance to the Front, 
before we thoroughly effected this, we came in sight 
of a Party of the Lneray, we being then in a small 
wood, w^e halted and had delivered us Ammunition. 
We then had orders to move forward <fe join CoP. 
Butler who wa? in front, we moved on with as much 
Expedition as possible so that upon espying a Party of 
the Enemy's Hoi'se & being call'd upon & order'd to 
form, our rear were obliged to form on the Dog-trot ; 
we form'd & vrere order'd to reserve our Fire, the 
Horse approached almost within Pistol Shot cfe then 
retir'd — we then wheeled by Platoons to the left & 
march'd on towards the Enemy, we had not march'd 
far before we received several Cannon shot from the 
Enemy near the Head of our Column, w^e soon upon 
that received orders to oblique to the left and form to 
the left under Cover, of a Wood, w^liich brought our 
left near to a Morass — CoP. Jackson soon after this 
call'd CoP. Smith, ife ask'd him if he did not think it 
best to file off by the left thro' the Morass — Col**. Smith 
answered, by no means without orders — just upon this 
Col"". Grayson call'd to CoP. Jackson ife ordered him to 
form upon the Height — Col°. Jackson ask'd, if he had 
any Cannon there ; — CoP. Grayson said, No, but form ; 
CoP. Jackson said, Where's Gen\ Lee or Gen^ Wayne 
& then desired me to ride <fe see if I could find either 
of them to receive Orders — CoP. Smith said he would 
go cfe immediately dismounted a Countryman who w^as 
near & rode off. CoP. Jackson order'd me to ride up 
on the Height & see how the enemy came on — I rode 
up and on my retuni found Col°. Smith wdth Col^ 
Jackson — I told him the enemy were coming on in an 
heavy column. Col*". Jackson then said to CoP. Smith, 
Well Smith, I think w^e had better file off; by no 
means, without Orders replied Smith, but you must do 
as you please ; well, said CoP. Jackson, by God, I'll do 
it— we then filed off by the left — As w^e w^ere going 
off, 1 being in the rear, CoP. Grayson called to me 


& askM where we were going. I replied, I cannot 
tell, Col**. Jackson is in front leading them off, 
we then went into a wood where we halted a short 
time, but soon I'eceived orders to retire still fartlier — 
we then marched off by Files from the Ilii?ht — we 
retir'd some Way. I was then in fi'ont. We were 
order'd to strike into a thick wood & deep morass we 
march'd thro' and came out into a plain Field where 
was the front line of the army formed — we halted 
under a large tree on the left of the line <fc then per- 
ceived that the Detachment was divided but were soon 
after joined by the Remainder & form'd in the Line on 
the left, but stood not long before we received orders 
to mai'ch off — ^just as we were marching off, one of 
Gen. Washington's Aids came up to Col**. Jackson and 
order'd him to form his Men in the Line, the CoP, 
answer'd his Men were so fatigued they were not able 
to stand — the Aid reply'd, I suppose they ai*e not more 
faticrued than others that have been in the Field the 
same time ; the Col**, again reply'd " they (meaning the 
Men) are dropping down in the ranks, besides, Sir, I've 
Gen\ Lee's orders to go into the Rear to refresh." — If 
that's the Case, or, if you've Gen^ Lee's orders, reply'd 
the Aid, I've no more to say — Col. Jackson then rode 
forward a little Way & turning back call'd to Capt". 
Van Horn who was leading off in Front — come on, 
Cap^ Van Horn, come on — we march'd back to Eng- 

Qmstion hy CoV". Jackson. Do you recollect whether 
the Person, w^ho you say was Genl Washington's Aid- 
de-Camp told me, w4ien he order'd me to form, that it 
was Gen\ Washington's orders that I should \ 

Aiiswer, I do not recollect the particular words — 

Questian. When I was advancing did I not push for- 
ward with spirit and alertness ? 

A?i8w&?\ I think you did. 

Qfiestion. Do you recollect my haranguing of the 
men & spiriting of them up just before we exj)ected to 
en2:a2:e ? 


Answer. I recollect that you did in the wood where 
we halted to receive Amnmnition. 

Question. Do you recollect my desiring General Lee 
to point out his Aids to me, at the time I was ordered 
into the Front, that I might know from whom I re- 
ceived my orders ? 

Answe9\ I think you did, but I do not recollect his 

Question. When we had formed the Line against 
the Enemy's Horse, did we not stand till the Enemy 
discharged their Carbines & then wheeled off ujxm see- 
ing us stand our Ground ? 

Answer. They discharged their Pistols but the l)all 
did not reach us & then wheeled off, in conseciuence, as 
I suppos'd, of our keeping our ground & reserving our 

Question. Was you with me the whole time so as to 
know every order that I received ? 

Ansicer. I was not. 

Question. Do 3^ou recollect when Gen^ Washington's 
Aid-de-Camp, as 3^ou say it was, came up to me with 
orders to form that the men were much fatigued, that 
some actually dropt down with heat and that several 
were carried off the Field ? 

Avsiver. Yes. 

Lieut. Rogers — relates as follows : 

On the 28th June last our Detachment under the com- 
mand of Col**. Jackson marched from English Town, 'till 
we overtook the ai-my that was in front of us — We pass- 
ed l)y & halted in a Wood to receive Ammunition. We 
received orders to march on — When we arrived in an 
orchard considerably advanced of the Place we marclied 
fi'om, we were orderM to form in consequence of hearing 
some one call out, form, for God's sake, form, for the Ene- 
my's light Horse are U[)on us — After we had wheeled to 
the right <fe formed, they fired, and we wheeled off. We 
then wheeled to the left & march'd on for near an hun- 
dred yards, when the enemy fired several cannon Shot 


near tlie Head of the Column. We still kept on our 
march & obliqued to the left to form behind the Fence, 
under the cover of a wood, which brought our left near 
a morass. From there we wheeled to the left & 
marched off by Files through the Morass, into a Piece 
of Wood ; after we had halted, there came an Officer 
(but who he was I don't know) & ask'd if we had any 
Light Horse out ; Maj'. Trescott made Answer & said 
that he did not know that there were — we had orders 
to march out of the Wood into a Field where we made 
another halt. We marched from there to English Town, 
the Place that we at first marched from. 

Qttestion by Col''. JdcJcson. Do you think I advanced 
with the Troops in front with spirit and alertness ? 

Answer', Yes. 

Question. Do you recollect my haranguing the men 
and spiriting of them up just before we expected to en- 
gage ■( 

Anmoer. I do. 

Question. Do you recollect my giving orders to the 
men to reserve their Fire, after we had form'd, when 
the British Light Horse were pressing down upon us ? — 

Ansiver. I recollect such orders, but who they came 
from 1 cannot tell — 

Qn^stian. Do you recollect my putting Officers in the 
rear to keep the Men up ? 

Answei\ I do, and I was one that was ordered. 

Question. Do you recollect a Height on our left that 
commanded the Morass <fe the ground that we were on, 
& whether it was not a better situation to receive the 
Enemy than the ground we formed on ? 

Answer. I remember the Height <fe think the situa- 
tion better than where we were to receive the Enemy. 

Question. Do you recollect that any men fainted 
where we halted ? 

Answer. The men were much fatigued & worn 
down with heat, so that many fainted on our way back 
to the Main Body of the Army. 


Lieut. Turner — relates as follows : 

On the 28th of June last I niarch'd with the Detach- 
ment under CoP. Jackson's Command from English 
Town. We had not gone far before we came up with 
a Body of our light Troops halted ; — we continued our 
march 'till we came by a copse of woods & were imme- 
diately alarm'd by the Enemy's being on our right 
Flank, we chang'd our Front, and then drew Cartridges 
— soon after we were ordered to wheel to the left and 
mai'ched with some troops said to be CoP. Butler's — 
We then were in front — had not proceeded far l)efore I 
observed a Cloud of Dust arise accompanied with — form, 
for Gods sake form — the Enemy is upon us — We im- 
mediately were order'd to wheel to the Right <fe came 
to a brisk Recover — I suppose by Col". Jackson's orders, 
and not to discharge a gun by any means — directly 
upon our being formed the Enemy retir'd precij)itately, 
then we were order'd to wheel to the left again, ife 
march'd, the Distance I cannot ascertain, however were 
soon saluted by eight or nine Cannon Shot from a 
Wood a good many yards distance in our Front — we 
having no Cannon were ordei'ed to retire, rather ob- 
lique to a fence at a little distance from where we 
came; there being a declivity it brought our left to- 
waids a morass — there we halted — directly upon that 
I heard CoP. Jackson tell Mr. Edwards to go up and 
reconnoitre, he went &> soon return'd informing him 
the Enemy were coming — We were then ordered to re- 
treat, and that through the morass before mentioned — 
On our march we came into a wood where I heard a 
person on horseback enquire for Gen^ Wayne who told 
us we should fall into the Enemy's hands if we did 
not go from there. We soon went and presently came 
into the Field where the heat of the Action was, where 
we halted, not long, for presently I observ'd Col. Smith 
with about half of the Detachment with which I was 
marching to a rail'd fence, after we had got there we 
'tarry'd some time — but before the enemy came up, who 


I supposed we were f orni'd for to resist I found we were 
retiring — Then I look'd round &> saw Gen\ Lee on 
Horseback and Col. Jackson at a considerable distance 
with a Pistol in his hand — Gen\ Lee immediately 
halloo's where is that damned blue Regiment going. — 
CoP. Smith stepped up and told him 'twas not his or- 
ders, but his superior officer's — alluding to Col**. Jack- 
son ; CoP. Jackson then came up — Gen'. Lee tui'n'd 
round & said to CoK Jackson — by God, you are not 
commanding officer here, I am — then ordered us to 
form, however according to the best of my recollec- 
tion we did not, but jom'd the other Part of the De- 
tachment and march'd again to English Town. 

Qicestion by CoV". Jdchsfm. Do you think I ad- 
vanc'd with the men in Front with Spirit & alertness ? 

Anstoer. You did. 

Qitestion. When I harangued the Men in the Woods 
did I discover a Disposition to spirit tlie Men foi* Ac- 
tion or not ? 

Answer. You did. 

Quest toil. Do you recollect whether any Men fainted 
in the Wood where we halted, after we passed tliro' 
the Morass ? 

Anmoer. I do not recollect seeing any faint, but they 
were so fatigued that I supposed they would rather 
have submitted themselves tlian have gone into action. 

Qu€iition. When Genl. Lee told me that he was Com- 
manding officer at that Place, do you recollect whether 
it was before I spoke to him or after ? 

Answer. It was before you spoke a word to him. 

The Court adjoum'd 'till Monday y* Z^ of May at 
10 o'clock in the Forenoon. 

PKOVIDENCE, JULY 5*^, 1779. 

The Court, after being put off from time to time on 
account of the absence of the President & some mem- 
bers of the Court since the 3^ May to which time it was 
adjourn'd — met and 


CoK Jackson offer'd his defence which is as fol- 
lows — 

Mr. President and Gentlei)ien of the Court — 

The Court has stood adjourn'd two Months for mv 
accusers or any other person to appear against me & 
as this is the time apjwinted for me to make my De- 
fence, I beg your attention for a few moments. 

If I have acted a part that wounds my honor, I wish 
not to remain in a Situation which may increase my 
Disgrace ; If I have erred in Judgment I must solicit 
that candid allowance which regards the Rights of 
Humanity. Haj)py am I in submitting my conduct as 
an Officer to Gentlemen who have contemplated the 
Science of War in the peaceful hour, &l brav'd its dan- 
gers in the Field of Slaughter ; I shall, with Pleasure, 
submit to vour Decision, <fe cannot but anticipate the 
Felicity of receiving your Approbation. 

From the whole tenor of the Evidence it appears, 
that on the Day of the Monmouth Action the Detach- 
ment under my command was in advance of Gen\ Lee's 
Division of the Army: That in marching forward to 
engage the Enemy, I omitted no means in my Power to 
preserve Order and Regularity ; that the rapidity of 
our movements was almost too great, considering the 
Heat of the Day and the Fatigues we had endur'd ; 
and that at the critical Moment, when we expected to 
engage, I shewed myself in front of my men, from right 
to left, encouraging them to Martial Ardor — On the 
march we were met by a party of Horse retiring with 
precipitation, pursued by the Enemy's Cavalry ; I im- 
mediately form'd the line to sustain and cover them, 
which check'd the progress of the Enemy who halted 
in Front, and gave us their fire, but as ours by my 
positive orders was reserved, they retreated to their 
Infantry. Upon which I formed the Column again & 
march'ci fonvard 'till we discovered a large Body of 
the Enemy in our Front who immediately commenced 
a Cannonade, with some effect. Finding our numbers 


vastly inferior cfe being destitute of artillery, I did not 
think it adviseable to advance farther ; but as the 
whole depth of the Column was exposed to their shot 
I obliqued to the left <fe displayed under cover of Copse 
of Wood which afforded me a degree of Security — We 
remained in that situation for some time expecting 
orders from Gen^ Lee, <fe the Enemy advancing to 
attack us, I found it necessary to change my position <fe 
take possession of an Height a little to the rear of ray 
left; my reasons were to command a deep morass 
which would have prevented our Retreat, should the 
Enemy liave turn'd our Flanks — as it lay in the rear 
of our first Position in the Wood. The Resolution 
could not be deemed an Intention of retiring from Dan- 
ger, but a changing of ground to advantage — It could 
not be construed into breach of Orders as I had 
received none for occupying any particular spot. I 
was answerable for the conduct of my corps and con- 
sequently was bound to adopt such manoeuvres as my 
Judgment should direct, in the Exercise whereof I held 
myself accountable to God and my Superiors not to 
those under my Command. We had but just began a 
movement from our left to occupy the Hill beforemen- 
tioned w^hen an Aid-de-Camp arrived from Gen^ Lee, 
who ask'd me if I had seen Gen^ Wayne or Scott, I 
told him I had not, he reply'd he would be with me 
again immediately, and rode off — Hereupon I halted 
the Troops till he returned which was very soon : He 
inform'd me that Gen\ Lee gave positive Orders for us 
to Retreat wliich was complied with instead of occupy- 
ing said Hill. During these movements a Gentleman 
unknown to me, but said by the Witnesses to be Col". 
Grays(m call'd to me to form to our right ; but not 
giving me to understand by what authority he pre- 
tended to order me, I did not conceive myself subject 
to his controul — My Reputation depended upon the 
propriety of my own conduct tfe therefore great Caution 
was necessary in receiving for Commands what could 
not justify me in case of misfortune — We had marched 
Vol. III.— 15 


Ijut a small Distance on our retreat }>efore we wei*e 
obliged to halt in a grove to I'ecover the men wlio were 
fainting and falling out of the Kanks, in consequence 
of the excessive Heat and Fatigue of the Day. We 
had not been long there before a guide appeared with 
orders to conduct us out of the Wood as the Enemy 
were in close pursuit — We renewed our march and 
were soon met by an Aid from Gen\ Lee, Scott, or 
Wayne, urging to quicken the march. I inform'd him 
the men were so much fatigued that it was impractica- 
ble, he gave ordei*s to retire into the rear and receive 
refreshment there j)rovided — After marching al)out two 
miles we came up with Gen\ Lee's Division which 
w^as in a variety of positions — Here a gentleman came 
to me, whom I did not know nor see before <k directed 
me to form at a certain Fence ; I told him my men 
were incapable of more Fatigue <fe we had just received 
Orders for retiring into the rear to refresh — I do not 
recollect that he mentioned the orders as coming from 
Gen\ Lee ; but if he did I do not know liim as an Aid 
to Gen^ Lee, <fe could not have justified oljeying him, 
especially as I had requested the Gen^ hi the morning 
to shew me the Gentlemen of his family by whom he 
intended sending Orders. Every military Gentleman 
of Experience is well acquainted what confusion and 
contrariety of orders are frec^uently given in the Field. 
It is not uncommon to be accosted V)y several Aids 
nearly at the same time from different General Officers, 
directing to different ol>jects, it is extremely recpiisite 
in those circumstances for eveiy officer to confine his 
attention to the pro])er channel thi'o' which he is to be 
ultimately guided — For instance, it would ])e absurd 
for a Colonel in the left wing of the army to receive 
Orders fi'om a Gen\ Officer in the IJii^ht, unless de- 
tached for the Purpose; and although it appeared 
afterwards that this Gentleman was sent by Gen. Lee 
which occasioned the (ieneral to sIk^v warmth U2)on 
the occasion, yet uj)on being informed by me, that my 
not forming at the Fence was thro' a Mistake, being 


unac([iiainted with the Messenger — he was perfectly 
satisfied, and ordered L\ C(A Smith, who had formed 
a part of the Detachment at the Fence, to marcli off 
with me — I cannot imagine that my conduct in this 
particular can merit censure ; I was scarcely acquainted 
with an Officer in the Army and might have been led 
into unpardonable blunders, by adhering to the Decla- 
ration of stransrers. This Gentleman who is said to 
be ]\P. Clarke, an Auditor of Accounts, was not in the 
Military line, nor appointed in orders to act as Aid to 
any Officer. General Lee, who best understood the 
Transactions himself, best knew his own orders, <fe if 
any Person, he was the proper one to charge me with 
a ])reach of them — Gen^ Lee immediately aiter order'd 
me to form to another Fence, which we [were] executing 
when he countermanded the order in Person ife told 
me to march off as lie meant to effect a Retreat — while 
retiring an Officer came to me and ordered me to form 
again, but upon acquainting him with Gen^ Lee's last 
order, he replied in a true military stile, that he had 
nothing more to say. We finally retir'd to English 
Town cfe there formed the Line under the Conunand of 
Baron Steuben. 

Upon the whole I have acted a part my conscience 
approves, cfe if I have deviated from military princij)les, 
it was owing to Inexperience <fe not Design — I flatter 
myself however that every Instance of my Conduct 
during the 28th of June last will appear rational and 
uniform cfe consequently be entitled to your appro- 
bation — 

C(V. Jackson then laid before the Court the following 
in support of which he advanced in the opening of the 
case, viz^ : 

On the day that Gen^ Sullivan left this department, 
L^ Co^ Smith, took me aside and inform'd me that he 
was convinced that C(A Jackson supposed liini his 
enemy, but that he was very much mistaken. The con- 
versation immediately turn'd upon Col**. Jackson's con- 


duct on the Day of Monmouth Battle. He said he 
was no way contributary to exhibiting a complaint 
ascainst the Col''. ; that he had not the least doubt of 
the Colonel's bravery ; tliat he w^as a sensiljle, indus- 
trious Officer ; and altho' he discovered on that Day 
some little Improprieties, he conceived them the mere 
results of his great fatigue, and thoiiglit he beliaved as 
well or better than could have been expected from a 
gentleman who had never seen actual service. He 
observed the Reason why he was so particular with me 
was that he considered me a Friend to both Jackson 
and him, and desired me to mention what j)assed V)e- 
tween us, to the Colonel, with the fullest assurances of 
his Sincerity and Friendship. Many things more were 
said, similar to the above, which I cannot particularly 
recollect (Signed) J. M. Varnum. 

The Court upon fully and maturely considering the 
Evidence & CoK Jackson's Defence and also the Con- 
fusion of the advanced Corps of Gen^ Lee's Division 
on that Day are of opinion that there appears not any 
thing against CoP. Jackson sufficiently reprehensible 
to call him before a Court Martial. 


To Benjamin Rush. 

Saw Pitts, August 13^'^ [1778.] 
Dear Rlsh, 

Your letter of no date, and sign'd with no name, 
ought, certainly either to make me laugh or make me 
cry. If it is from the excess of personal ])rudence, it 
ou2^ht to make me laui^h — and if really the state of 
affairs are such that the force of party cal)al and official 
power can be already grown to so dangerous a heighth 
that not less circumspection is necessary now in the in- 
fancy of your states than it was under the tyrannical 


administration of Cardinal Richelieu and Mazarine it is 
really a very melancholy situation — Who the devil is, 
what the devil is it you are so all damnably afraid of ? 
You tell me gravely tliat you still believe me honest. 
I am myself most confident that I am — and I'll give 
you a proof of it — the only letter address'd to or meant 
for the public which contain'd a syilable of truth in it 
was mine — that to the Printer of Trenton — the others, 
by all that is sacred, I will not except those from the 
highest authority, were one continued lie — from the be- 
ginning to the end this I believe you will be couvinc'd 
of when the Court Mai-tial is publish'd. I shall not 
trouble you with any detail on this subject — but be as- 
sured of this — ^that G. Washington saw, knew, and was 
almost as little concern'd in the affair of the 28'^*' as he 
was in the battle of Philippi. 

My friend Jenefer will deliver you this, and open 
your eyes on the subject. 

Adieu, my dear Friend, 

C. Lee. 

From Major Evan Edwards. 

Phila: Aug*. 30'^ 1778. 
My Dear GENER^ 

I am shock'd, confounded, and exceedingly chagrin'd, 
to hear the Court have adjudged you guilty of all the 
Charges aledg'd against you, and have suspended you 
one twelve month on account of it — the sentence is as 
unaccountable to me, as that they should find you guilty. 

Matters have been so cursedly represented against 
you in this place that I have been almost mob'd in de- 
fending you — ten thousand infamous lies have been 
spread that I never heard before to byass the minds of 
the People against you. 

In the name of God, what are we come to ? — So much 
for our republicanism. 


I am beyond description unhappy Efeel for tlie in- 
jury of a Man I so sincerely esteem : a Man whose merit 
IS so conspicuous tliroughout tlie World, and more par- 
ticulai'ly lor a man who if justice was to take place and 
facts properly known, merited the thanks of the Conti- 
nent for the transaction of that day in a most singular 

I have not been able to see Mr Lee ; I call'd twice 
but he was not at home, to-morrow morning I shall have 
the pleasure I expect as I intend to call again. 

Gen. Mifflin wdl be in Town to-morrow whom I shall 
likewise see. 

My sincere affection you will ever command ; and I 
shall never esteem myself so happy as when I can have 
it in my power to render you a service. 

I wall in three or four days set out and attend you 
either in Camp or where else you may think j)roper to 

From your since s't, 

Ev. Edavards. 

From Major John Clark. 

Auditor's Office, Sept'. 3^, 1778. 
Dear Sir, 

I received a line from you wherein you request me 
to relate on honor the facts which I know with respect 
to the action of the 28^** of June last, and the orders I 
delivered you from His Excellency. I must confess 
that I wish this re(piest had been made previous to the 
Court Martial being dissolved, as it would then have 
been considered more regular : how far it may o])erate 
either to acquit, or condemn you, is matter I am not to 
•judge of. But can only say, that as you have recjuested 
it, I conceive it would be cruel in me to deny you. 
Much has been said with respect to the letters and 
conversation that passed between His Excellency and 
you. I suspend my judgment till better informed, and 


assure you that if I knew you had used him ill, I 
should declare myself your Enemy. 

Inclosed is a state of ray transactions and Observa- 
tions on the day of Battle at Monmouth. I pray tliat 
wherever they are forwarded this may accompany them 
— I liave the honor to be, amidst a variety of interrup- 
tions Your Most obed' 

Jno. Clark. 

Major Gen\ Lee. 


On the morning of the 28^^ of last June I was about 
to return from my (juarters (near English Town) to 
Rocky Hill, but on hearing several Cannon towards 
Monmouth Court House clianged my route and went 
immediately to English Town, at which I understood 
His Excellency General Washington was. I instantly 
waited on him and asked if he had any conmiands to 
General Lee, that I was going to the General and 
should be happy to execute them ; to which His Ex- 
cellency made the following reply : " You will inform 
" General Lee that 'tis my Orders he annoy the Enemy 
'* as much as in his power, but at the same time proceed 
'' with caution and take care the Enemy don't draw him 
" into a scrape : that I have information the Enemy's 
" rear have left Monmouth, have ordered the troops 
" with me to throw off their Packs, and will march on 
" to reinforce him." I then put my Horse to near full 
speed and soon arrived at the high Ground on the left 
of Monmouth Village where I found General Lee : I 
called him aside, and delivered the above Orders to him, 
wliich I did and still do conceive to he disoretionary 
and as sack he received them^ as he replieci " I give 
you my word, I shall not advance a foot further, my 
men are fatigued excessively and it would be sacrificing 
them to pursue." I tlien reconnoitred the Enemy, found 
them forming a line of Battle with the Cavalry on their 


riglit — returned and gave the Gen\ information — lie 
then beg'd me to huiTy the Troops over a Morass in his 
rear and gave directions to several Officers of Artillery 
to take post on the heights over the morass which 
Ground (appeared to me) commanded that on which I 
found the General. I then returned to the rear of the 
column going over the morass, & the Enemy's Horse 
made a charge on a few straglers in the rear : u])oii 
which Gen^ Lee called to me to form a Itegiment along 
a fence on his front, Col. Jacksons of Massachusetts 
was the first 1 came to, I informed the Col : 'twas Gen- 
erals Lees positive orders that he form his lleg^ along 
the fence to check the Enemy's Cavalry then advancing, 
to which he replied, his Men were so fatigued they could 
not form. I then called to the officers of tlie Keg^ <fe 
Lieut Colonel Smith of that Corps, wheeled near half 
the Reg^ & formed them along the fence : in a few 
minutes after I observed those troops marching from 
the fence, upon which Gen^ Lee asked the officers the 
reason, they said Col : Jackson ordered them — the Gen* 
was much enraged, rode forward to the Col : & told 
him he (Gen^ Lee) was the Commanding officer <fe no 
one else shou'd give orders <fe drew his Sword, the Col- 
onel apologized — & I parted with the General, having 
first requested that I wou'd inform His Excellency that 
by too much pi'ecijntancy in one of his Briijadiers (j* 
fidse intelligence his Troops were thrown into confusion 
cfe that he was retiring — which message I delivered His 
Excellency cfe he dispatched me witli orders to Lord 
Sterling to form a line in the rear of a Morass, cfe to 
send on 3 Pennsyh^ Brigades with a trusty officer to 
su])p()rt the Troops in front — to let the Troops retiring 
form a line on his rear — all which I declare u])on honor 
to l)e true tk am ready to take my oath when legally 

J. C. 
Sept^ 3^ 1778. 


To THE President of Congress. 

White Plains, Sept'r ye 4^' 1778. 

As from the first instant the charges were brought 
against me, relative to the affair of the 28^** of June, I 
was thoroughly convinced in my owm mind that I stood 
on so firm ground that nothing could shake or even in 
the slightest degree affect me, I took not the least pains 
to collect evidences for my justification — on the con- 
trary, of the many respectable oflicers or indeed, whole 
Corps who presented themselves to save time and trou- 
ble to the Couil;, — I heard very considerable numbers — 
but notwithstanding my conviction at that time and 
my still stronger conviction at this time that it would 
and must appear that I had done, and more than barely 
done my duty, there is something so very material in the 
inclosed evidence of Major Clark, that I must entreat 
you, Sir, if there is no irregularity in the proceeding, 
to lay it before the Congress, who, I make no doubt, 
only wish to investigate the truth and impartially de- 
cide, and if there is any iiTegularity in the request, I 
have only to entreat that you will pardon the step I 
have taken, and throw the paper under the table. 

I am, Sir, with the greatest respect and sincerity. 

Your most obd*. humble Servant, 

Charles Lee. 

Col. Alexander Hamilton to Elias Boudinot. 

Head Quarters Sep'. 8'*^ 78. 
My Dear Sir, 

It is a long time since I have had either the pleasure 
of writing to you or of hearing from you. The long 
letter you promised me through Colonel Harrison, which 
wa8 to come by Baron Steuben, has not made its ajipear- 
ance — I imagine you must have changed your mind. 


Yoli are not to expect when you see tliis letter, that 
I have any tiling worth your attention to say to you ; I 
write merely to show you that I continue mindful of 
my promise and my friends ; and when I began, I had 
scarcely digested a single idea which was to be the sub- 
ject of my epistle. 

But just at this moment one matter comes into my 
recollection, which is of some inir)ortaiice to the public; 
and which you as a member of Congress, are in a ])e(ui- 
liar manner interested in. You know the feuds and dis- 
contents which have attended the departure of the 
French fleet fi'om Rhode Island — You are probably not 
uninformed of the impiiident [conduct] of General Sulli- 
van, on the occasion — particularly in the orders he issu(Ml 
charging our allies with refusing to assist us. This ])r<)- 
cedure was the summit of folly — and has made a very 
deep imj)ression upon the minds of the Frenchmen iii 
general, who naturally consider it as an unjust and un- 
generous reflection on their nation. The stigmatizing 
an ally in public orders and one with whom we meant 
to continue in amity, was certainly a j)iece of absurdity 
without parallel. The Frenchmen exi)ect the State will 
reprobate the conduct of their General, and by that 
mean make atonement for the stain he has attempted to 
bring upon French honor. Something of this kind 
seems necessary, and will in all likelihood l)e exj>ected 
by the Court of France ; but the njanner of doing it 
suggests a question of great delicacy and difliculty, 
w^hicli I find myself unable to solve. 

The temper with which General Sullivan was actu- 
ated was too analogous to that which appeared in the 
generality of those concerned with him in the ex])e- 
dition, and to the sentiments prevailing among the 
j)eople. Though men of discretic^n will feel the impro- 
priety of his conduct ; yet there are too many who will 
be ready to make a common cause with him against 
any attemi)t of the public authority to convince him of 
his presum])tion, unless the business is arranged with 
great address and circumspection. The credit univer- 


sally given liim for a bappy and well conducted retreat, 
will strengthen the sentiments in his favour, and give 
an air of cruelty to any species of disgrace which might 
])e thrown upon a man, who will be thought rather to 
deserve the esteem and applause of his country. To 
know how to strike the proper string will require 
more skill than I am master of; but I w^^uld offer 
this general hint, that there should be a proper mixture 
of the sweet and bitter in the potion which may be 

I am sure it will give you pleasure to have heard 
that our friend Greene did ample justice to himself on 
this expedition ; and that Laurens was as conspicuous 
as usual. But while we celebrate our friends and 
countiymen, we should not be forgetful of those meri- 
torious strangers, who are sharing the toils and dangers 
of America. Without derogating from the merit of the 
other French Gentlemen who distinguished themselves, 
M"" Toussard may be justly allowed a pre-eminent 
place. In the enthusiasm of heroic valour, he at- 
tempted single and unseconded, to possess himself of 
one of the enemies field pieces, which he saw w^eakly 
defended. He did not effect it and the loss of his arm 
was the price of his braveiy — his horse was shot under 
him at the same time ; but we should not the less ad- 
mire the })oldness of the exploit from a failure in the 
success. This gentleman has now in another and more 
signal instance justified the good opinion I hav^e long 
entei'tained of him, and merited by a fresh testimony 
of his zeal, as well as a new stroke of misfortune the 
consideration of Congress. The splendid action he has 
now performed, and for which he has paid so dear, 
slumld neither be concealed from the public eye, nor 
the public patronage. You are at liberty to commit 
this part of my letter to the press. 
I am my Dear Sir, 

with the most Affect Attachnit 
Y' obed Serv. 

Alex Hamilton. 


To General Washington. 

Purchase Street Sept ye 15'*^ [1778.] 

As I understand the Ai'n]y is soon to move and it 
certainly will be very awkward for a Man in my cir- 
cumstances to be obliged to attend it, I shall think 
myself veiy much obliged to Your Excellency foi* per- 
mission to go to Philadelphia. I should not be so 
desirous of this indulgence, if I had not been made 
to believe that it yet may be a considerable time before 
my affair is brouc^ht to a final decision. 
I am, Sir, i our Excellency's 

• Most Obedt humble Servt 

Charles Lee. 

To Benjamin Rush. 

Princeton, Septr y" 29th [1778.] 
My Dr Rush, 

Nothing cou'd have more seriously alarm'd me than 
the accounts I have lately receiv'd of the dangerous 
situation so valuable a Friend as you are has l)eeii 
m, and I most sincerely congratulate im^self and all 
your acquaintance on your recovery — 1 shall make 
no more professions at present on this subject, as I 
shall soon have the pleasure of assuring you ho^v much 
I am yours viva voce — I find that you are not thor- 
ough perswaded of the propriety of my Conduct on 
the 29th of June. Your letter implies that I did 
blunder — now if I did I am incorrigible — for I declare 
solemnly if the transactions of that day were to be 
done over again — I wou'd do just the same — and I 
aver that my conduct was in every respect irreproach- 
able — I aver that his Excellencies letter a^ as from 
beginning to the end a most abominal>le damn'd lie — 
I aver that my conduct will stand the strictest scrutiny 


of every military judge — I aver that my Court Martial 
was a Court of inquisition — that there was not a single 
member with a military idea — at least if I may pro- 
nounce from the different questions They put to the 
evidences — and I may without charity pronounce that 
if They cou'd have prov'd that I had only in the course 
of the day utter'd the word, retreat, They wou'd have 
sentenc'd me to an ignominious death, or at least cash- 
ier'd me with infamy — but this retreat tho' necessary 
was fortunately brought about contrary to my orders, 
contrary to my intention, by an accident, and if any- 
thing can deduct from my credit it is that I did not 
order this retreat which was so necessary — but I will 
not trouble you any more on the subject as you have 
read my defence, but I suspect not with sufficient at- 
tention, as otherwise I think not the least doubt woii'd 
have remained on your mind of the propriety of my 
conduct — which was to speak with a becoming pride 
soldierlike and in every point of view uncensurable — 
but Adieu, My Dr. Friend, fac ut valeas ut me (two or 
three worth illegible). 

C. Lee. 
My respects to M" Rush. 

To RiciiAKD Henry Lee. 

- Princeton Sept' y^ 29 1778. 
My D" Friend 

I beg you ten thousand pardons for not answering 
your letter and enclosing a letter to M"^ Booth. 1 
have been on a Journey ever since. You shall have 
the best I am able to give by the next post but what 
can the reconmiendation of blasted mortal like my- 
self avail ? great God grant me patience ! for what 
sort of people have I saci'ificed every consideration — 
what a composition of falsehood wickedness and folly ! 
to be loiined for giving a victory to a man whose head 


was never intended for a sprig of laurels ! but as Lear 
said, no more of this that way madness lies. I intend in 
a few days to be at Philadelphia where 1 expect to have 
the piece finislied for the honour of the American 
character — that I shall be shunned and treated as a 

1 am however, My D"^ Friend, at least most truly 
and sincerely yours 

Col. Richard Henry Lee, 

Member of Congress. 

C. Lke. 

To Col. Aaron Burr. 

October 1778. 
Dear Sir, 

As you are so kind as to interest )^ourself so warmly 
in my favor, I cannot resist the temptation of writinjj 
you a few lines. Till these two day^<, I was convhiced 
the Congress would unanimously have rescinded tlie 
absurd, shameful sentence of the Court Martial ; Imt, 
within these two days, I am taught to think tliat equity 
is to be put out of the question, and the decision of the 
affair to be put entirely on the strength of party ; and, 
for my own part, 1 do not see how it is possil^le, if the 
least decency or regard for national dignity has place, 
that it can be called a party lousiness. 

I wish I could send you the trial, and will the 
moment I can obtain one. I think myself, and I dare 
say you will think on the perusal, that the affair re- 
dounds more to my honour, and the disgrace of my 
ersecutors, than, in the warmth of indignation, either 
or ni)' aid-de-Camps have represented it. As 1 have 
no idea that a proper reparation will be made to my 
injured reputation, it is my intent, whether the sentence 
is reversed or not reversed, to resign my Commission, 
retire to Virginia, and learn to hoe tobacco, which I 



find is the best school to form a consummate generuL 
Til is is a discovery I have lately made. Adieu. 
Dear Sir, believe me to be your most 

Sincerely obliged Servant, 

C. Lee. 

Draft — to the President of Congress. 

Philadelphia, October y« 13^*^ 1778. 

I liad no intention of troubling the Gentlemen of the 
Congress with some complaints I have, 1 think with 
justice, to make of the proceeding of the Court Martial 
by which I was tiy'd, particularly of the President and 
Judge Advocate, according to my idea, stepping so 
egregiously out of the line of their duty, until you had 
decided on my fate — but there is one circumstance, I 
cannot without injustice to myself delay referring to 
your consideration — as it makes a considerable differ- 
ence with respect to my culpability or innocence in the 
third article of the Charges brought against me — I 
mean the two letters written to General Washington — 
they are not arrang'd in the proceedings i)ublish'd in 
the order in which the}'' were introduc'd to the Court — 
You nmst ol)serve, Sir, that these two letters are ar- 
ranged immediately one after the other and General 
AVnshington s to me subsecpiently which with submis- 
sion gives to 'em an air of disrespect — ^They do not 
when j)lac'd in their true order deserve — for had I 
wrote the second on the back of the first, it wou'd 
have certainly been wrote without a shadow of reason 
or provocation — but I thought the heavy charges and 
even style of his Excellency's letter (particularly to a 
man conscious of having well done his duty) wou\i 
justify such a repl)^ — I have. Sir, one favour earnestly 
to intreat of the Congress, it is that They will have the 
indulgence speedily to determine my affair, as They 
may easily conceive that to a man of my rank, length 


of services, and of some, as I flatter myself, small mili- 
tary reputation to remain with a rod of infamy lianging 
over his head — as when the affair is brought quite to 
an issue I can with propriety request your permission 
to send over to France and even to England a fe^v 
copies of the proceedings of this Court- -wliich I con- 
fess, I am sanlguine] enough to perswade myself Avill 

n themselves without the least 
fully vindicate my conduct in 
of every soldier in the World. 

Sir, to believe that 1 am with 

the greatest truth and devotion 

Your most obedient humble Servt 

Charles Lee. 

General Wayne to 

Fredericksburg, 14^*" October 1778. 
Dear Sir, 

After two years hard service during all which time 
I hav^e been honored with the command of the Penn'' 
Line — at the Close of this Campaign, I find myself 
superceeded, cfe put under a Genl. Officer who has in the 
most ungenerous <fe Envious Manner attempted to throw 
a 8ti(ima on my character as an officer by the following 
artful Invidious opinion, viz (vide Report) 
— from which Charge by the Indulgence of His Excel- 
lency in Granting me a Genl. Com-t Martial, I was 
totally acquitted m the following words, viz : 

" The Court are unanimously' of opinion that Brig. 
Genl. Wayne is not guilty of the Charge exhil>ite(l 
against him — but that on the night of the 20th of 
Sej)t^ Genl Wayne did everything that could ])e ex- 
pected from a brave, active, <fe vigilant officer (acting 
under the orders he then had) the Court do thei'efore 
acquit him with the Highest llonory 

After this can I serve under the immediate Command 
of an Officer who has thus wantonly <fe invidiously at 


tempted to Injure my Character & that in so artful a 
manner, as by affecting to give me some Credit for my 
Bravery, hoped thereby to prevent a further enquiry — 
be assured that I never can, nor never ^vill submit to 
it — but I have other reasons — one of which is the con- 
duct of that Gent*" at Monmouth — an opening offered 
for striking the Enemy to Advantage — I sent for the 
three Penn*. Brigades to support me — he haping to be 
near them when my Request arrived peremptorily 
ordered them not to advance — except three Regts. 
which with myself must inevitably have perished nad 
the enemy not been fortunately broke <fe routed by the 
unparalleled Bravery of these few troops <fe Contrary 
to the most sanguine hopes of every spectator — and 
altho' victory declared for us h the slaughter great yet 
we could not improve the Advantage from the Dis- 
parity of Numbers — of which we were Deprived eithei* 
by the Ignorance or envy of this Gentleman. 

Add to this that CoK Irvine the Gent^ at the Head 
of my Brigade is fully Competent to the charge and 
whose feelings I am Determined not to hurt by Depriv- 
ing him of that Command. 

I don't mean by this to ask promotion — my only 
ambition was as Brig', to command the Penn*. Line — 
which Command I have been indulged in for two Cam- 

Saigns, &L therefore thought I had some Claim to that 
[onour in future. 

But to be superceeded at this lat^ Hour by a man in 
whose Honour, Conduct, and Candour I can have no 
Confidence — hurts me not a Little. 

This perhaps may be a mode of Reasoning that w411 
have l)ut small weight — and be construed into a desire 
of promotion — I solemnly protest that I have no such 
wish — I only hoped not to be degraded,, i, e, to be re- 
duced from the command of a division to a brigade — 
and that under a man who for the Reasons I have 
already mentioned I can never submit to. 

I have therefore Determined to Retire to Domestick 

Life & leave the Blustering field of Mars to the posses- 
VoL. III.— 16 


sion of Gent" of more worth & whose feelings may not 
be as delicate or so much injured as those of 

Your most humble Servt 

Anty. Wayne. 

To THE President of Congress. 

Philadelphia, October ye 16'^ 1778. 

I had no intention of troubling the Gentlemen of the 
Congress with any complaints, I think with Justice I 
have to make with resj^ect to the mode of proceeding 
of the Court Martial particularly of the President and 
Judge Advocate stepping so widely (in my idea) out of 
the line of their duty, until you had decided on my 
fate, but there is one circumstance 1 cannot, without 
injustice to myself delay apprising you of, as it makes 
in my opinion a considerable difference with respect to 
my guilt or innocence in the third article of the charges 
brought against me. I mean, Sir, my two letters are 
not arranged in the proceedings published in the same 
order in which they were introduced to the Court. 
You must observe, Sir, that these two letters in the 
proceedings i)rinted are made to follow immediately 
one the other, without the intervention of General 
Washington's this in my opinion, gives to the second 
an air ol disrespect, it would not perhaps, when placed 
in its proper order, carry — for had I wrote this second 
letter on the back of the first it might have demon- 
strated an eagerness to provoke and irritate but the black 
charges contained in his Excellency's letter and even 
its style echoing my words, I thought would justify 
such a reply in this or any other Army in the world, par- 
ticularly as I had taken it into my head, whether with 
reason or not, I cannot pretend to say, that I had merited 
his and the public thanks. As to the misdates of the 
letters, the matter was cleared up in the Court — they 
ought all to have been dated on the thirtieth of June. 


I entreat, Sir, you will believe that I am with the 
greatest respect and sincerity. 

Your most obed\ humble Sert. 

Charles Lee. 

Draft to the President of Congress. 

Philadelphia, October y* 29**^ 1778. 
Sir, _ 

When it is consider'd that I hold a high rank in the 
service of one of the most respectable Princes of Europe ; 
that I have been honor'd with the office of second in 
command in your Army ; that I have hitherto serv'd 
with some degree of reputation as a Soldier ; that I am 
accus'd, and have been try'd for the blackest crimes in 
the whole military catalogue, and to the astonishment 
not only of myself but of every man in the Army who 
was present at the Court Martial, and every man out of 
the Army who has read the proceedings of the Court, 
been pronounc'd guilty of these crimes, I hope I shall 
not be charg'd with presumption in requesting that 
when the discussion is enter'd into of the justice or ini- 
quity propriety or absurdity of this sentence, the doors 
of the Congress may be thrown open — indeed I cou'd 
wish that the whole world, at least the whole military 
World were to form the audience. 

I make Sir, this request not only for my own sake, 
but for the sake of the Public, as I think such a pro- 
ceeding agreeable to the principles of the democratical 
Constitution establish'd. 

I am Sir, with the greatest zeal and respect 

Your Excellency's 

Most obedt. humble serv*. 

Charles Lee. 

To his Excellency 

Ml*. Laurens 


Draft to the President of Congress. 

Philadelphia, October y^ 30'*" 1778. 

When it is considered I hold a hif?h rank in the ser- 
vice of one of the most respectable Princes of Europe ; 
that I have been honour'd with the trust of y^ second 
command in your Army ; that I have hitherto serv'd 
with some reputation as a soldier — that I now stand 
charg'd, and have actually been try'd for some of the 
most heinous military crimes ; and to the astonishment 
not only of myself, but I can venture to say of every 
man in the Army who was present at this Court, and of 
every Man out of the Army who has read the proceed- 
ings<, found guilty of these crimes — when at the same 
time I am myselt inflexil)ly perswaded that I am not 
only guiltless, but that the Success of y* 2^th of June 
ought principally in justice to be ascrib'd to me. I 
say. Sir, when these circumstances are consider'd it 
must be allow'd that my present situation is extremely 
awkward — that a man of my military rank lingering in 
suspense whilst his fame and fortunes are sul) judice, is 
rather a disgraceful spectacle; that it is natural for 
me to wish, and reasonable for me to request, that the 
Congress will no longer delay the final decision of my 
fate — an additional motive for my requesting it is that 
I find the Congress is every day growing thinner, and 
I confess that 1 cou'd most ardently wish that the Con- 
gress was not only as cimipleat, as possible in numbers, 
but that if it was agreea}>le to the rules of the House 
that the People at large might be admitted to form an 
audience when the discussion is enter'd into, of the jus- 
tice or iniquity, wisdom or al)siirdity of the sentence 
which has been pass VI upon me. I do now. Sir, there- 
fore most humbly but earnestly entreat that a day may 
be immediately fixVl for the final determination of this 

the lee papers. 245 

Peesident Reed to General Greene. 

Philad. Nov. 5. 1778. 
My dear General, 

It is with very great satisfaction I set down to answer 
your Favor of the 26'*" October, exclusive of all con- 
cerns of business, or Politicks. I am happy to find you 
safely return'd from an expedition, from which I con- 
fess 1 expected nothing & am therefore not one of the 
disappointed. I have no idea that Gen. Sullivan ever 
will shine as a military officer, and I have learn'd so 
much of military matters, that the thanks of Congress 
or the puffs of the Camp (which in this case we have 
not had) have little influence on my Mind. Untill I 
heard you was gone, I had not the most distant hope of 
any advantage, & I cou'd not help believing that his ill 
luck, <fe other circumstances wou'd be an over Match 
for every thing you cou'd do — However I am told (in- 
deed that we know here) that he has beprais'd you all 
in such a manner, that like the Continental Money it 
takes a great Deal to purchase any Respect or Value. 
I believe I may venture to say this much, that Congress 
will be more sparing of their Thanks upon another oc- 
casion. One thing I imagine will not be so easily pass'd 
over, I mean disgusting our Allies : there are certain 
occasions when we ought neither to see nor hear ; much 
less to express what we see or feel, & tho' it might & 
I suppose did wound certain Feelings very much which 
our Hero elect may have — I think he would have done 
well to have suppressed them. He should have con- 
sidered, that God almighty may have made some other 
Creatures in the same mould with himself, I do not 
mean by this to condemn the Count d'Estaing, from all 
the Evidence, 1 should 7ww say that he did right, but 
whether I should have thought so tlien is not so clear. 

As to your Department — perhaps the part I had in 
framing it, the Hopes I had forni'd & express'd, the 
support I had given it in & out of Congress may have 


occasion'd an overweening & undue anxiety that you 
shou'd discharge it with Honour to yourselves & ad- 
vantage to your Country. Perhaps this anxiety may 
have induced me to lay greater stress upon Incidents 
than they really deserved. If it shou'd be so, cfe I have 
been too tremblingly alive to every Circumstance that 
tended to impede or disparage it, 1 can only say it was 
an Emanation of Friendship & Affection the Effects of 
which cou'd not injure tho' it might serve the Depart- 
ment — You must be sensible that my delicate situation 
will forbid me to say much in a Letter, but yet I will 
trust a few Sentiments upon Paper <fe shall rejoice to 
find that Events prove me totally mistaken — I think 
there has been a constant subsisting Opposition between 
the old Department & yours from the beginning, & 
in Congress the Marks appeared very evident. — M*". 
Duer <fe the Party adhering to the old Q^ M'. set out 
with predicting that you would never be able to move 
the Army, being disappointed in this, <fe the accounts 
from Camp not answering their Wishes they have 
been since predicting a Distress this Winter equal to 
the last, <fe that for a very plain reason that the Dis- 
tress of the Army last winter will then be ascribed to 
unavoidable Misfortune <fe not to any Delinquency ever 
accompanying their argum** with irritating Remarks 
upon the amount of the Expenditure <fe running a Par- 
allel in this Respect with the last year. The absurdity, 
Injustice & even Wickedness of this Sentiment does not 
prevent their repeating it over & over again upon every 
application for money. Under this view therefore I 
confess I never was able to discern the Policy or Wis- 
dom of continuing under you Men devoted at all Points 
to those who were the fixed & inveterate Enemies of 
the Department, who were quite in another Interest <fe 
who I firmly believe only remained in Office to cover 
more effectually their own Conduct <fe embarrass cfe be- 
tray you. That there are some of these I suppose you 
cannot be ignorant, but the person whom I principally 
refer to is Col. Hooper & who I verily believe was 


broiiglit in for the above Purposes. You must be sen- 
sible also that one of the great Complaints against Gen^ 
Mifflin was employing Persons under him of known 
disaffection to the Interests of America & openly hos- 
tile to the authority of the State in which they were to 
act — this is now brought against your department & 
verified in a very remarkable <fe recent Instance. The 
Brother of the infamous D'. Smith & equally infamous 
with him for the part he has acted in the publick Cause^ 
has, since Danger of disobliging the British Interest is 
removed, been appointed Q'. Master of a County : un- 
der the Influence and credit which this gave him, he is 
now returned (with several to whose Election he greatly 
contributed) in the Assembly to destroy & coimteract 
that interest upon which your Honor and even safety 
as a publick Officer depends — for Integrity itself is not 
alwavs a match for the malevolent Views of a Party — 
Col. lloss at Lancaster used also every Influence his 
Office gave him to effect a Return of Members under 
the same Influence, but finding it impracticable, a mob 
was raised which threw the whole into confusion — Col. 
Hooper not only harangued & exerted every Power, 
but the Clerks of office were employed in Writing 
Tickets, & then march'd off with all their Dependants 
for the like purpose. In short in this City, & every 
Part of this State the whole Weight of the Department 
was given & ever exerted against your Friends, with 
what real effect time only can determine^ One effect 
is obvious, to wit, throwing everything into Confusion, 
a Circumstance I imagine which will not contribute 
much to your Ease & honour — You say in your Letter 
before me "that you understand Gen^ Mifflin wants 
the Presidents Chair, that every body wishes me to 
accept it, & none more than yom-self, that the Chair 
would be very convenient to a publick Delinquent 
there can be no doubt, & it is really diverting to ob- 
serve the Windings & Turnings he takes to recover 
lost popularity, that he would sacrifice everything for 
his own safety, & gratify his inordinate ambition at 


any rate is very obvious — but all liis artifices would 
fail, and he would have sunk into utter contempt if he 
had not been bolster'd up by many who derive their 
Importance from their connexion with you. 

The Chair was in my offer all last Summer — neither 
Ambition or Interest inclined me to accept it, but I now 
plainly see that there is a settled fixed System to sub- 
vert the Whig Interest & that in a little Time the very 
Name will be reproachful, if there are not very spirited 
exertions. You have undoubtedly heard into what 
Line Gen: Ai-nold has thrown himself — if Things pro- 
ceed in the same Train a few months longer I wou'd 
advise every Continental Officer to leave nis uniform 
at the last staee, and procure a scarlet coat, as the only 
mode of insurmg respect & Notice. 

The Whigs are not depress'd, tho' the Tories are un- 
humbled & 1 still hope <fe believe if our own Friends 
will not take part against us we shall rise superior 
to all their efforts. 

I do not pretend to say from what Cause it has pro- 
ceeded or how it has happened, but I am inclined to 
think our Friends have been overreached — little atten- 
tions, great seeming respect, <fe treacherous professions, 
have led them into the snare, <fe there is often so much 
pride in the Human heart, that it will persist in the 
Error rather than acknowledge the Imposition. I am 
inclin'd to think Congress will soon suspend Hooper 
for some practices not very honorable to himself or the 
Department, but as they are mingled with the Transac- 
tions of the former Department we cou'd not disclose 
them to you — indeed from their nature, youi*self & the 
Department generally must appear exemj)t from sus- 
picion. After having suggested upon two occasions to 
M'. Cox my apprehensions that the Department mi^ht 
suffer from certain measures, <fe meeting with a differ- 
ent Reception than I expected, I could not trouble him 
any further, with any similar Remarks, l)ut resolving 
to preserve private Friendship have constantly avoided 
the subject — for the same reason I must request you to 


use this Letter consistently with my views. The Hon- 
esty of his Heart has made him very averse to doubt 
that of others, & he seems to think it disrespectful to 
himself that the Probity of any one appointed by him 
should be doubted — for these Reasons and others which 
are obvious you will see what I say is to you. 

As I have not been in Congress for 3 or 4 weeks I did 
not know till since I had wrote the above that a Com- 
plaint of some kind has been formerly made against the 
Department, &> a Committee, actually appointed there- 
upon. But hearing that the Committee on the former 
Departm*. (of which 1 am one) had Evidences of some 
Mal-Practices of Hooper this Summer they sent to me for 
them but I evaded it ; I shall make further Enquiry and 
let you know whether it is of any consequence. Had I 
thought of it in time I wou'd have wrote you to caution 
your People against meddling too much in the Election 
either way, as it has a manifest tendency to raise Enemies 
to the Department unnecessarily. Indeed I thought you 
had express'd yourself so clearly to them on youi' inten- 
tion not to embroil yourself with any State Disputes 
that they would have avoided everything of the kind. 
However they have done it, <fe most eviaently against 
the Interest you favour. They already talk of a sett 
of Delegates from this State, which if I thought there 
was any probability of their cariying, I should advise 
Mr. Pettit immediately to prepare himself to leave the 
Department, as I am sure his connection with me & 
their unprovoked Enmity would induce them to give 
you every opposition in their Power. What would 
you think of Mr. Chew the late Chief Justice, whom 
we kept Prisoner as an Enemy, 'till within these 3 
months, upon full Evidence of his Enmity to us, <fe that 
so great that he could not be trusted on Parole. But 
if Pettit was out of the way, you would not be much 
better off as they are in the same Interest & I believe 
^vith not very different Views than the Reading Junto 
last Winter — Gen. Lee is making his Court, & I believe 
successfully to the same Interests, at least if we may 


judge from personal civilities & attention — We are 
totally out — After laboring to convince nie that he had 

great Merit at Monmouth, ife I to convince him that he 
ad behaved very ill, which I knew from his own 
mouth, & my owti observation we have parted mutu- 
ally unconvinced — I only added one Piece of Advise to 
him to foi-bear any Reflections upon the Commander in- 
Chief, of whom for the first time 1 have heard Slander 
on his private Character, viz, great cruelty to his Slaves 
in Virginia & Immorality of Life, tho' they acknowl- 
edge so veiy secret that it is difficult to detect. To me 
who have had so good opportunities to know the 
Purity of the latter & equally believing the False- 
hood of the former from the known excellence of 
his disposition, it appears so nearly bordering upon 
frenzy, than I can pity the wretches rather than despise 
them. However they help to make up the Party. 
New Characters are emerging from obscurity like 
Insects after a storm. Treason, Disaffection to the 
Interests of America & even assistance to the British 
Interest is called openly only Error of Judgment, 
which Candour <fc Liberality of Sentiment will over- 
look, these are Gen. Cadwallader's Sentiments and that 
all distinction should be laid aside under a j)erfect 
oblivion for past offences, if such practices deserve the 
name of offences — Out of the great Number of Pilots, 
Guides, Kidnappers, & other Assistants of the British 
Ai'my two of the most notorious were convicted, but it 
would astonish you to observe the Weight of Interest 
exerted to ])ardon them, <fe virtually every other, for 
none could be more guilty, but these being rich & 
powei-ful (both Quakers) we could not for shame have 
made an exam})le of a poor rogue after forgiving the 
rich. The same gentlemen publickly pronounced their 
Execution a horrid Barbarity, infamous Carnage, &" — 
so much & so soon do Party views change the Minds of 
Men, &> of so little consequence do they estimate the 
Lives & safety of officers & soldiers who are so often 
destroyed by these treacherous Practices, when the Con- 
siderations of Power & Ambition intervene. 


Thei'e is a considerable Minority of real Whigs in 
the house, a number of netv Converts to the Indepen- 
dence of America & a few real inveterate but concealed 
Tories. The Council who are also the Representatives 
of the People are Whigs to a Man the only disadvan- 
taere the Wnigs have is the want of speakers. 

l^rom some Inquiries I have made since I began this 
Letter, I imagine Smith got into Office last spring 
under the influence of the Junto then form'd against 
the General & has been continued by Davis who is 
appointed by you. 

It is reported here that Mr. Cox has proposed to 
Congress an alteration of the Commissions as making 
the office too lucrative even beyond his Desire. I sug- 
gested an Idea of this Nature to Mr. Pettit when I was 
at Camp as a thing worthy your consideration when 
you were all together. If Mr. Cox has conveyed any 
sentiments of this kind to Congress I am sure they 
must have proceeded from a Belief that they would 
promote the common Interest & might be necessary to 
obviate any Prejudices ag^. the Department. I said in 
Congress &> say now that unless any man will declare 
that he believes the Commissaries &, Q'. Masters en- 
hance the Prices in order to increase the Commissions 
I think the latter should not be diminish'd on ace*, of 
the Expenditure because it was Value not Quantity 
that was to be the Reward of Publick Duty. The 
Measure would certainly be disinterested & generous 
on the Part of the Staff, but I am clear the States 
cannot in Justice demand it, & I am sorry to add far- 
ther that the prejudices which prevail with respect to 
the advantages Mr Cox has had in Bargains, Privateei-- 
ing <fe^ would in the eyes of some lessen the Value of 
the offer because it would be suspected to proceed from 
a less honorable motive than it really did — I need not 
say more. 

Col. Cox sometimes throwing out Ideas of Resigna- 
tion leads me to say a few words upon that point. He 
cannot resign — I mean he cannot resign with Honour, 


& therefore I hope he will dismiss every Idea of that 
kind. I will not say that such an Event would break 
up the Department tho' it would injure it — but if Mr. 
Pettit was to consult me upon such a point I should be 
against it as to him, & no prejudices have gone forth 
against him or you — Much more should I dislike such 
a step if there had. 

I am very glad you have found in Mr. Pettit those 
Qualities which I think will cement youi* Friendship & 
Interests — tho' he is my Brother I believe I may say 
without partiality that he will wear well & that you 
wall find liim not only a man of business & Temper but 
unquestionable Honour & Patriotism — I look back 
with some surprise at the Quantity I have wrote, but 
there is one material Fact respecting yourself which I 
ought to add tho' it will swell my Letter, already 
beyond all reasonable size. In Mifflms attempts to re- 
establish himself he found his Enmity to the General 
was a fatal objection ; he has therefore been obliged to 
recur to his old Ground that he did not oppose the 
Commander in Chief, but his favourites (yourself <fe 
Knox) who had an undue Influence over him — this is 
the Language he is obliged to talk or he would have 
been utterly rejected, and this is the language which 
some of your people have talked for him. 

I am yet at a loss to say what will be the result of 
our present measures — I am in the Council and shall 
now accept the Chair if offered to me with a tolerable 
salary because I see plainly that unless I make this 
sacrifice of my Interest & Ease the Whig Interest must 
be materially injured. Will you not think it extra- 
ordinary that Gen. Arnold made a publick Entertain- 
ment the Night before last of which not only [numer- 
ous] Tory Ladies but the Wives & Daughters of Per- 
sons proscribed by the State and now with the Enemy 
at New York, formed a very considerable number ? 
The fact is literally tnie. 

Adieu — I hope our Friendship founded on our mu- 
tual attachment to our Country & cemented by mutual 


dangers & kind oflSces will not easily be shaken. My 
love to M'. Pettit — I will write him very soon & am 
D' Sir 

Your affect. Friend <fe Hbble Serv^ 

Jos. Reed. 

Endorsed— ''ZoQQigiii Reed— 5t»» Nov. 1778 — Mem: The Trhole of the 
Washington, Mifflin, Arnold Parties &c. — Vindication of Gen. Wash* 

From Baron Steuben. 

Monsieur ! 

II m'est revenue que dans Votre defense Vous Vous 
etes permis k mon sujet des Reflexions indiscrets. Je 
me suis hati de venir a Philadelphie pour ra'en eclaircir, 
et je trouve le rapport confirme par le journal de la 
Cour martiale qui m'est parvenue depuis un heure, ou 
je lis le paragraphe suivante 

" Of all very distant Spectators " etc etc 

Se j'etais dans ma Patrie ou ma reputation est des . 
long temps faite; je me serai mis au dessus de vos 
Epigrammes, et les aurez meprise — mais je suis ici 
Etranger — Vous m'avez offense — je vous en demande 

Vous choisirez le lieus le temps et les Armes mais 
comme je n'aime k etre Spectateui- ni 61oigne ni tardif ; 
je demande de vous voir aussi pres et aussi tot que 

Mr. le Capt. Walker qui vous remette la presente 
m'informeras de vos resolutions. 

je suis 


Votre tres humble Serviteur 

Le Baron de Steuben. 


ce 2 de Des [1778.] 


From Col. Alex. Hamilton to Baron Steuben. 

I snatch a hasty moment My Dear Baron to acknowl- 
edge the receipt of y' obliging favour of the 6'^ — It 
came here while I was absent in an interview with 
some British Commissioners on the subject of an ex- 
change of prisoners ; and was not delivered me 'till two 
days ago — I am sorry that your business does not seem 
to maSe so speedy a progress as we all wish ; l)ut I 
hope it will soon come to a satisfactory termination. 
I wish you to be in a situation to employ yourself use- 
fully and agreeably and to contribute to giving our 
military constitution that order and perfection, which 
it certainly wants. — I have not time now to enter upon 
some matters, which I shall take another opportunity 
to give you my sentiments concerning. 

I have read your letter to Lee, with pleasure — it was 
conceived in terms, which the offence merited, and if 
he had had any feeling must have been felt by him. 
Considering the pointedness and severity of your ex- 
pressions, his answer was certainly a very modest one 
and proved that he had not a violent appetite, for so 
close a tete a teU as you seemed disposed to insist upon. 
His ev^asions, if known to the world, would do him 
very little honor — I dont know but I shall be shortly at 
Philadelphia; if so, I shall have the honor of per- 
sonally assuring you of the perfect respect and esteem, 
with which I am 

My Dear Baron 

Y"* most Obed Serv, 

Alex. Hamilton. 
W qr Dec. 19. 1778. 

The Honorable Major General 

Baron de Steuben, Philadelphia. 


To THE Printer of the Pennsylvania Packet. 

[Pennsylvania Packet, Thursday, December 8, 1778.] 


As I perceive it is not found an indecency to attack 
my character and conduct on the 28th of June ; wliilst 
the affair is sub judice, I hope the public will think 
it none, if I offer something m my own defence — You 
will, therefore, by giviug a place in your papers to 
the enclosed, extremely oblige, Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant 

Charles Lee. 

General Lee's Vindication to the Public. 

The different commentators on the orders I received 
from Gen. Washington on the 28th of June, have, I 
think, construed them into no more than three different 
senses. I shall therefore, for argument's sake, give 
the world leave to suppose them to have been any one 
of these three :* — 1 stly. To attack the enemy in what- 
ever situation, and in whatever force I found them, 
without considering consequences. 

2dly, To contrive the means of bringing on a genei-al 
engagement — Or 

3dly, To annoy them as much as possible, without 
risking any thing of great importance ; that is, in fact, 
to act with a great degree of latitude, according to my 
own discretion. 

Now, I say, granting any one of these three to have 
been the orders I received, it is manifest, that I did 
literally and effectually comply, as far as depended on 
myself, and on human means. As to the first, notwith- 

* It must appear somewhat extraordinary, that when the principal and 
heaviest charge brought against me, was the disobedience of orders, these 
orders that it seems I disobeyed, should never have been attempted to be 
ascertained to the Court by the proper authority, but were left to the con- 
jecture and wild constructions of those who might take the trouble to 
guess, and to the hardiness of those who might chuse to invent, j 


standing the attempt, by a low evasion, to prove that 
the orders I gave were only to advance on the enemy, 
it is clear from Captain Mercer's evidence, that Gen- 
eral Wayne and Colonel Buttler were ordered, not only 
to advance, but, in precise terras, to attack ; — it is clear, 
that I did, with the three Brigades on the right, make 
the only movement possible to accomplish this end — it 
is clear that I did not wish, or give any orders for a 
retrogade manoeuvre from the first point of action, and 
that, even when I was informed of our left >)eing 
abandoned, the retreat, however necessary, was, I am 
ashamed to own it, done contrary to my orders, and 
contrary to my intentions. I say 1 am asnamed to own 
it ; for if the British cavalry had vigorously pushed on 
our right, they might have turned our flank, taken us in 
reverse, and we had been lost. There is but one suppo- 
sition, and indeed only one (and that, for the General's 
honour, is too monstrous to be admitted), that would 
render me criminal; it is, that lie had positively com- 
manded me, that after the attack commenced, whatever 
were my circumstances or whatever were my numbers, 
from thence I should not, from any consideration, re- 
cede an inch. Now, if such I had conceived to have 
been his intention, so great is my opinion of the valour, 
zeal, and obedience of the troops, and so well I think I 
know myself, that I do really believe we should all 
have perished on the first spot ; but I never had, (it was 
almost impossible that I should have) an idea that such 
was his plan ; and it is evident that it was not ; conse- 
(][ueutlv, in seeking a better position in our rear, I could 
be guilty of no disobedience. Upon the whole, admit- 
ting the orders I received to have been (as it has been 
insinuated) to attack, without any consideration of the 
force, or situation of the enemy, they were as fully and 
rigidly obeyed, circumstanced as I was, as it was pos- 
sible for any human officer to obey orders of sucli a 
nature. In the next place, if the General's instructions 
are construed to be, that I should find the means of 
bringing on a general engagement, it is difficult to im- 


agine a more efficacious method than that which was 
pursued. But I must here beg leave to observe, that 
those gentlemen who talk so familiarly of brincjing on 
a general engagement, must understand themselves as 
little as they can be understood by others. To bring 
oji a general engagement is not always in our power. 
An enemy of any capacity will take such measures as 
not to be under the necessity of fighting against his in- 
clinations ; and, however it may be received, I cannot 
help being persuaded, that some of the British generals 
are not deficient in this great essential. Clinton, Grey, 
and Ei^skine, were bred up, and considered no despicable 
officers in one of the best schools of Europe. Prince 
Ferdinand and his nephew, the hereditary prince, think, 
it is said, and do most certainly speak very honourably 
of them. Now, although it must be supposed that men 
of this stamp will make it a rule to retain the power of 
refusing a general engagement, there are strong grounds 
for l>elieving, that on this day (whether from our 
manoeuvres, or from the often ungovernable impetuosity 
of the British troops) they would Imve been put under 
the necessity of committing the most considerable part 
of their army to the decision of arms, if the opportunity 
on our side had been availed of. They were tempted 
to y)ass three of the great ravines which traverse the 
plain ; and there is room to flatter ourselves they would 
have passed the last, if they had been wisely suffered. 
They would then have been actually in our power ; 
that is, they would have been imder the necessity of 
fighting against unequal force; for they hail scarcely 
the possibility of retreating, and it was at our option 
to engage whatever part of the army we thought proper, 
whether the whole, one half, or only a third, as they 
had immediately emerged from the ravine, and before 
tliey could have had time to develope and form ; our 
rear was, on the contrary, quite clear and unembarrassed, 
and were, in fact, entire masters of our manceuvres; at 
the same time. Colonel Morgan, and the militia on the 
flanks, by this separation of the major jmrt of the ene- 
VoL. III.— 17 


my's army to so great a distance from their baggage, 
and the l)ody covering the baggage, would have had a 
much fairer opportunity of making their res])ective at- 
tacks, than if they had remained more compact : thus, 
if any thing is meant l)y finding tlie means of bringing 
on a general engagement, it was done, and in the most 
salutary manner, to the utmost extent of human possi- 

We come now to the last supposition, viz.^ That the 
ordei*s I received (which in fact is the truth, unless they 
had no meaning at all) were to annoy the enemy, strike 
a partial blow, but without risking any thing of great 
importance ; or, in other terms to act in a great measure 
discretionally.* And here I defy the most acute mili- 
tary critic of the world, to point out a more effectual 
method than what was pursued ; for, had we taken post 
on the hither or western margin of the first ravine, as 
General Wayne seems to think we ought to have done 
(and admitting that in this position our flanks could 
have been seciu'e, which they certainly were not,) or on 
the margin of any of the other ravines in our rear, the 
last not excepted, if the last had been tenable, how 
could we possil)ly have annoyed the enemy, or struck a 
partial blow? The consequence could at most have 
been this, that we might have remained gazing on and 
cannonading each other for some time, and the moment 
they chose to retire, they could have done it at their 
leisure, and with impunity ; for, by all the niles of 
war, and what is more, by all the rules of common 
sense, we could not have ventured to j)ursue them, be- 
cause we shcmld have put, if not impracticable, at least 
very dangerous, defiles in our rear ; and if they had 
turned back upon us, we should have been effectually 
in their power, unless we could have insured victory to 
ourselves with very unequal numl)ers ; Init, by draw- 
ing them over all the ravines, they were as much in our 

* It must be reninrkcd, tlmt disobedience to discretionary orders is, 
pri/na facie, a glaring absurdity ; it is an impossibility ; and yet it has been 
endeavoured to prove me guilty of^this impossibility. 


l)Ower ; besides, it imist occur to every man who is not 
destitute of common reason, that the further they were 
from their ships and the heights of Middletown, the 
j)oint of their security, the more they were (to use tlie 
military hinguage) in the air. 

To these considerations may be added, that the ground 
we found them in, was extremely favourable to the 
nature of their troops ; and that we drew them into, as 
favourable to ours. The ground we found them in, 
was calculated for cavaliy, in which they comparatively 
abounded ; and that which we drew them into, as much 
the reverse. In fine, admitting that the order 1 received 
was any one of the three referred to, and supposing we 
had been as perfectly acquainted with every yard of 
the coimtry as we were utterly ignorant of it, I am 
happy to be able consciously to j)ronounce, that were 
the transactions of that day to pass over again, there is 
no one step I took which I would not again take. 
There is no one thing I did which does not demonstrate 
that I conducted myself as an obedient, prudent, and, 
let me add, spirited officer ;* and I do from my soul 
sincerely wish, that a court of inquiry, composed of the 
ablest soldiers in the world, were to sit in judgment^ 
and enjoined to canvass with the utmost rigor every 
circumstance of my conduct on this day, and on their 
decision my reputation or infamy to he for ever estab- 
lished. There is, however, I confess, the strongest rea- 
son to believe (but for this omission I am no ways I'e- 
sponsible) that, had a proper knowledge of the theatre 
of action been obtained, as it might, and ought to have 
been, its nature and different situations, with their re- 
ferences studied, and, in consequence, a general plan of 
action wisely conceited and digested, a most important, 
])erhap8 a decisive blow might have been struck, but 
not l)y adopting any one measure that any one of my 

* Tliis stile, on ordinary occasions, would appear a most intolerable and 
disgusting gasconade ; but when a man's conduct has been so grossl}' mis- 
represented and calumniated, as mine luis been, the strongest language is 
justifiable in his defence. 


censurers has been fortunate enough to think of. I 
have already said, that had we remained on the ground 
where the attack commenced, or on the margin of the 
jfirst ravine, which General Wayne seems to tliink M^as 
a good position, we should probably have been lost ; 
and I believe I may safely assert, that had we attached 
ourselves to the second position, in front of CaiT's 
house, reconnoitred by Mons Du Portail, on the hill 
which Colonel Hamilton was so strongly prepossessed 
in favour of, and allowing our flanks to l)e secure in any 
of these positions, which it is evident they were not, 
security would have been the only thing we could have 
had to boast of. The security of the enemy would 
have been equally great; but any possilnlity of annoying 
them we certainly had not. I assert, then, that if we had 
acted wisely, it was our lousiness to let one, two, or three 
thousand pass the last ravine, in the rear of which, and 
on the eminence pointed out to me by Mr. Wikoff, and 
to General Washmgton by Colonel Ray,* the main body 
of our army was posted, fresh, and unfatigued ; wheretis 
those of the enemy were extremely harassed, or, indeed, 
worn down to so low a degree of debility, that had they 
once passed, they had little chance of repassing ; the 
ground was commanding, and to us, in all respects ad- 
vantageous. A sort of natural glacis, extending itself 
in our front, from tlie crest of the eminence quite down 
to the ravine, over whicli tliere was only one narrow 
j)ass, the plain so narrowed as to give no play to the 
manoeuvres of their cavalry ; and at two or three hun- 
dred yards distance in the rear, a space of ground most 
happily adapted to the arrangement of a second line.f 
This ground, from the nature of its front, is almost en- 

* To these two gentlemen not a little credit for the success of the 28tb 
of June is due. 

t It may l)o objected, that a part of my detachment there, under Scott 
and Maxwell, liad already filed off in the rear, but tliey niig]it easily have 
been brought up. It is evident they might, as not long afterwards a part 
of them were ordered, and did march up. It must be observed, tliat I my- 
self was totally ignorant that any part of them had filed off ; but those I 
had w^ith mc would have formed a very respectable line of reserve. 


tirely protected from the annoyance of the enemy's 
cannon ; and, of course, well calculated for the respira- 
tion of a body of troops, such as mv detachment was, 
fatigued, (but not dispirited) by action, and the exces- 
sive heat of the weatner ; here they might have taken 
brejitli ; here they might have been refreshed, and, in a 
veiy short time, refitted at least to act as a line of sup- 
port, which was all that, in these circumstances, could 
be necessary. I proposed to the General to form them 
as such, but was precipitately ordered, (and, I confess, 
in a manner that extremely ruffled me) to three miles 
distance in the rear. 

Thus, in my opinion, was a most glorious opportunity 
lost ; for what followed on ))oth sides was only a dis- 
tant, unmeaning, inefficacious cannonade ; and what has 
been so magnificently stiled a pursuit, was no more than 
taking up the ground which the British troops could 
not possiljly, and were not (their principle being retreat) 
interested to maintain. 

P. S. A thousand \\acked and low artifices, during 
my trial, were used to render me unpopular. One of 
the principal was, to throw out that I had endeavoured, 
on every occasion, to depreciate the American valour, 
and the character of their troops. There never was a 
more impudent falsehood ; I appeal to my letters ad- 
dressed to Mr. Burgoyne — to the whole tenor of my 
conversation, both previous and subsequent to the com- 
mencement of the present war, and to all my publica- 
tions. It is tiTie, I have often heavily lamented, as to 
me it appears, the defective constitution of the army ; 
but I have ever had the highest opinion of the courage 
and other good qualities oi the Americans as soldiers ; 
and the proofs that my opinion was just, are numerous 
and substantial. 

To begin with the affair of Bunker'shill. I may 
venture to pronounce that there never was a more dan- 
gerous, a more execrable situation, than these brave and 
unfortunate men (if those who die in the glorious cause 
of Lil^erty can be termed unfortunate) were placed in ; 


they had to encounter with a body of troops, both in 
point of spirit and discipline, not to be surpassed in the 
wliole world, lieaded by an officer of expenence, intrej>i- 
dity, coolness, and decision. The Americans were com- 
posed, in part, of raw lads and old men, half armed, 
with no practice or discipline, commanded without or- 
der, and God knows by whom. Yet what was the 
event? It is known to tlie world the British troops, 
notwithstanding their address and gallantry, were most 
severely handled, and almost defeated.* 

The troops under the command of General Montgo- 
mery, in his expedition against St. John's, Chambly, 
and into Canada, who were chiefly composed of native 
Americans, as they were from the Easteni States, dis- 
played, by his own account, in a letter I received from 
that illustrious young man, not only great courage, but 
zeal and enterprize. 

The assault under Arnold, on the lower town of 
Quebec, was an attempt that would have startled the 
most approved veterans ; and, if they miscarried, it can- 
not be attributed to a deficiency of valour, but to want 
of proper information of the circumstances of tlie ])lace. 

The defence of Sullivan's-Island, l)y Colonel Moultrie, 
might be termed an ordeal. Tlie garrison was, both 
men and officers, entirely raw ; the iire furious, and of 
a duration almost beyond example; their situation ex- 
tremely critical and dangerous, for the rear was in a 
manner open ; and, if General Clinton could, as it was 
expected, have landed on the island, there were no re- 
sources but in the last desperate resolutions. 

With respect to the transactions on Long and York 
Islands, I must be silent, as I am ignorant of them ; l)ut, 
from some observations after I joined the army, I have 
reason t(^ think the fault could not have been in the 
men, or in the common bulk of officers. 

• The Colonels Stark, Prescot, Little, Gardner, Read, Nixon, and the 
two nrewvTs, were entitled to immortal honour for their actions on that 
day ; but, according to the usual justice of the writers of newspapers and 
gazettes, their names have scarcely been mentioned on the occasion. 


Even the unhappy business of Fort Washington, 
wliich was attended with such a])ominaV)le consequences, 
and which brought tlie affairs of America to the brink 
of ruin, (when the circumstances are well considered) did 
honour to tlie officers and men, devoted to the defence 
of this worthless and ridiculous favoiu'ite. 

The defence of Red-Bank, by Colonel Green, and 
Mud-Island, by Colonel Smith, forced a confession, even 
from the most determined infidels on this point, of the 
British officers, to the honour of American valour. I 
have often heard them allow, that the defence of these 
two places were really handsome tldiujs — that no men 
could have do)W hetter ; which, from unwilling mouths, 
is no small panegyrick. 

The victory gained by Stark, at Bennington, and the 
capture of Mr. Burgoine's whole army, by Gates and 
Arnold, are, above all, convincing arguments of what 
excellent ingredients, in all respects, the force of Amer- 
ica is composed. 

The detail of what passed lately on Rhode-Island is 
not yet come to my knowledge ; but, from all I have 
been able to collect, the men and officers exhil)ited great 
valour and facility, as did their General, discretion, 
calmness, and good conduct. Upon the whole, I am 
Avarranted to say, what I always thought, that no dis- 
grace or calamity has fallen on the arms of America 
through the whole course of the w^ar, Imt what must l)e 
attributed to some other cause than to the w^ant of 
valour, of disposition to obedience, or to any other mil- 
itary defect in the men, or the general mass of their 
officers in their different ranks ; and I solemnly declare, 
that was it at my choice to select frcmi all the nations 
of the earth to form an excellent and perfect army, I 
would, without hesitation, give the preference to the 
Americans. By puV)lishing this opinion, I cannot incur 
the suspicion of j)aying my court to their vanity, as it 
is notoriously the language I have ever held. 

I have been told, that one of the crimes imputed to 
me, is my entertaining a high opinion of the British 


troopa. If this is a crime, I am ready to acknowledge 
it. There were times, I confess, when the promulgation 
of such an opinion would have been impolitic, and even 
criminal ; but in these times, it is notorious to the world 
that my conduct was the reverse. Every thing I wrote, 
every thing I said, tended to inspire that confidence in 
their own strength, which it was thought the Ameri- 
cans wanted ; and it is believed, that what I said, and 
what I wrote, had no inconsiderable effect ; but now, 
circumstanced as we are, I cannot conceive the danger, 
or even impropriety, in speaking of them as they de- 
serve, particularly as their excellence redounds to the 
honour of America. I could not help, whilst I was pris- 
oner, being astonished at the bad policy and stupidity 
of some of the British officers, who made it their con- 
stant business to depreciate the charaofer of the Amer- 
icans in point of courage and sense. V I have often ex- 
pressed my astonishment, making a veiy natural obser- 
vation to them, that if the persuasion of their oppo- 
nents' cowardice and folly were established in the w^orld, 
the great merits they themselves pretended to must, at 
the same time, be utterly destroyed. That I have a 
veiy great opinion of the Bntish troops, I make no 
scruple to confess ; and unless I had this oi)inion of 
them, I do not see w^liat ground I could have for my 
eulogiums on American valour. This is a truth, simple 
and clear as the day ; but be it as it Avill, it is now 
most certain, let the courage and discipline of the Brit- 
ish troops be as great as imagination can paint, there is 
at present no danger from either tlie one or the other. 
The dangers that now threaten, are from other quarters ; 
from the want of temper, moderation, oeconomy, wis- 
dom, and decision amongst ourselves ; from a childish 
credulity ; and in consequence of it, a promptness to 
commit acts of the highest injustice on tnose who have 
deserved best at the hands of the communitv ; but 
above all from the daemon of avarice and monopoly 
now with his giant gait stalking the Continent, and 
devouring everything that falls in his way. In short 


from the direct opposites to those qualities, virtues, and 
principles, without which it is impossible that the mode 
of government established should be supported for tlie 
tenth part of a century. These, I assert, are now the 
proper objects of our apprehensions, and not any real 
or supposed excellence m the armies of Great Britain, 
who has infinitely more reason to fear for her own in- 
dependence, than to hope for the subjugation of yours. 
General Clinton's letter, which has just appeared,* 
has so wonderful an accord with the above essay, that 
I make no doubt but that some acute gentleman may, 
insinuate that it furnished the hint : but I can appeal 
to more than fifty gentlemen of this city, or oflScers of 
the army, to whom it was read, previous to the publica- 
tion of General Clinton's letter, whether a single sylla- 
ble has been added or varied, the conclusion of the 
postscript excepted, which has no reference to the affair 
of Monmouth. 

A Short History of the Treatment of Major 
General Conway, late in the Service of 

Philadelphia, December 3, 1778. 
On Monday the 23d of November last, the honour- 
able Major General Conway set out from this city, on 
his return to France. The history of the treatment this 
gentleman has received, is so singular that it must make 
a figure in the anecdotes of maiikind. He was born in 
Ireland, but at the age of six was carried into France ; 
was bred up from his infancy to the profession of arms ; 
and, it is universally allowed, by the gentlemen of that 
nation, that he has, in their service, the reputation of 
being what is styled un tres hrave major ainfcuiterie^ 
which is no small character. It implies, if I compre- 
hend the term right, a man possessed of all the requisite 

^- [*iSir Henry Clinton's despatch {ante : Vol. II. page 461) was published 
intlie Penmyivania Bxckety November 26, 1778; in the j^<«o Jersey (jazetU^ 
December 2, 1778.] 


qualities to fill the duties of a general officer in tlie 
secondary line, but by no means ranks liim among those 
favoured mortals to whom it has pleased God to give 
so large a portion of the ethereal spirit, as to render 
reading, theory and practice unnecessary ; but with tlie 
spectacle of this pliaBnomena Heaven entertains tlie 
earth but very seldom ; Greece, as historians report, 
had but one ; Rome none ; England and France, only- 
one each.* As to this hemisphere, I shall be silent on 
the subject, lest I should be suspected of not being seri- 
ous. But be this as it may, it is past doubt that Gen- 
eral Conway is a man of excellent understanding, quick 
and penetrating, that he has seen much service, has read 
a great deal, and digested well what he has read. It 
is not less certain, that he embarked, with the warmest 
zeal, for the great American cause, and it has never been 
insinuated, unless l)y those who have the talent of con- 
founding causes, tliat his zeal has diminished. His 
recompense has been. What ? He has lost his commis- 
sion ; lie has been refused the common certificate, which 
every officer receives at the expiration of his services, 
unless his delinquencies have been very substantial in- 
deed. And for what crime ? For none, l)y any law, or 
the most strained construction that can be put on any 
law. The reasons given are so far from being substan- 
tial, that they really ought to reflect honour on his cliai*- 
acter. It seems he has been accused of writing a letter, 
to a confidential fnend, communicating an o])inion, that 
the commander in chief was not equal to the great task 
he was charged with. Is this a crime i The contrary. 
If it was really his opinion, it was decent, it was honest, 
it was laudable, it was his duty. Does it come luider 
any article of war ? I may venture to affirm, that it 

* Alexander ; Henry tlie fifth ; and the Prince of Conde. It may be dis- 
puted, however, whether these heroes were indebted to the gift of Heaven 
alone for their glories. Alexander served some canii)aigns under his fatlier 
Philij), had Aristotle for his masti^r. Henry, before he became king, dis- 
tinguished himself in the civil wars against the house of Nortlmmberhmd, 
and, if I recollect riglit, commanded in some expedition against the Welsh ; 
and the Prince of Conde had lessons from the great masters formed in tho 
schools of the w^are in the Low Country. 


does not. God help the community that should be ab- 
surd enough to frame a law which could be construed 
into such a sense ; such a community could not long 
subsist. It ever has been, and ever ought to be, the 
custom in all armies, not absolutely barbarians, for the 
officers of high rank minutely to canvass the measures 
of their commander in chief; and if his faults or mis- 
takes appear to them many and great, to communicate 
their sentiments to each other ; it can be attended Avith 
no one bad consequence ; for if the cnticisms are unjust 
and impertinent, they only recoil on the authors : and 
the great man w^ho is the subject of them, shines with 
redoubled lustre. But if they are well founded, they 
tend to open the eyes of the Prince or State, who, from 
blind prejudice, or some strange infatuation, may have 
reposed their affairs in hands iniinously incapable. Does 
any man of sense, who is the least acquainted wath his- 
tory, imagine that the greatest generals the world ever 
produced have escaped censure ? Hannibal, Caesar, Tu- 
renne, Marlborough, have all been censured ; and the 
only method they thought justifiable of stopping the 
mouths of their censors, was by a fresh exertion of their 
talents, and a perpetual series of victories. Laissons 
parler ces babteurSj Vespere que nous lenr fervieroiis 
la houclie a force des victoires^ was the answer of the 
king of Prussia to those worthy gentlemen, who thought 
to recommend themselves by informing him, that some 
of his measures were made very free with by certain 
officers in his army. Indeed, it is observable, tliat in 
proportion to the capacity or incapacity of the com- 
mander in chief, he countenances or discountenances tlie 
whole tribe of tale-bearers, informers, and pick-thanks, 
who ever have been, and ever will be, the bane of those 
courts and armies where they are encouraged, or even 
suffered. Allowing General Washington to be pos- 
sessed of all the virtues and military talents of Epami- 
nondas, and this is certainly allowing a great deal, for 
whether from our modern education, or perhaps tlie 
modern state of human affairs, it is difficult to conceive 


that any mortal in these ages should arrive at such per- 
fection ; but allowing it to be so, he would still remain 
mortal, and of course subject to the infinnities of human 
nature ; sickness or other casualties might impair his 
understanding, his memory, or his courage ; and, in con- 
sequence of the failure, he might adopt measures appa- 
rently weak, ridiculous, and pernicious. Now, I demand, 
supposing this certainly possible case, whether a law, 
the letter or spirit of which should absolutely seal up 
the lips and restrain the pens, of eveiy witness of the 
defection, would not, in fact, be denouncing vengeance 
against those who alone have the means in their ])ower 
of saving the public from the ruin impending, if they 
should dare to make use of these means for its salvation. 
If there were such a law, its absurdity w^ould be so 
monstrously glaring, that we may hardly say, it would 
be more honoured in the breach than in the ol)servance. 
In the English and French armies, the freedom with 
which the conduct and measures of commanders in chief 
are canvassed is notorious, nor does it appear that this 
freedom is attended with any bad consequences ; it has 
never been once able to remove a real great officer from 
his command. Every action of the Duke of Marlbor- 
ough (every l)ody who has read must know) was not 
only minutely criticised, but his whole conduct was dis- 
sected, in order to discover some crime, blunder, fault, 
or even trifling error ; but all these impertinent pains 
and wicked industry, were employed in vain ; it was a 
court intrigue alone that subverted him ; the low mil- 
itary cabals ])assed as the idle wind. 

General Wolfe, with whom to be compared, it can l)e 
no degradation to any mortal living, was not merely 
criticised, but grossly calimmiated by some officers of 
high rank under him ; but that great man never thought 
of having recourse to the letter or construction of any 
law, in order to avenge himself ; he was contented with 
informing his calumniators, that he was not ignorant of 
their practices, and that the only method he should 
take for their punishment, would be an active j)ei>eve- 


ranee in the performance of his duty, wliich, with the 
assistance of God, he made no doubt wouhi place liim 
beyond the reach of their malice. As to what liberties 
they had taken with him personally, he should wait till 
he was reduced to the rank of a private gentleman, and 
then speak to them in that capacity. 

Upon the whole, it appears, that it never was under- 
stood to be the meaning of the English article of war, 
which enjoins respect towards the commander in chief ; 
and of course it ought not to be understood, that the 
meaning of that article of the American code (which 
is a servile copy from the English) is meant to proscribe 
the communication of our sentiments to one another, on 
the capacity or incapacity of the man on Avhom the 
safety or ruin of the state depends ; its intention was 
without doubt in part complimentary, and partly to lay 
some decent restrictions on the licence of conversation 
and writing, which otherwise might create a diffidence 
in the minus of the common soldiery, detrimental to the 
pu])lic serWce. But that it was meant to impose a dead, 
torpid, idolatrous, silence, in all -cases whatever, on men, 
who, from their rank, must be supposed to have eyes 
and understanding, nothing under the degree of an id- 
iot can persuade himself ; but admitting in opposition 
to common sense ^.nd all precedents, the proceeding to 
be criminal ; admitting Mr. Conway guilty of it, to the 
extent represented, which he can demonstrate to be 
false; in the name of God, why inflict the highest, at 
least negative punishment, on a man untried and un- 
heard. The refusal of a certificate, of having honestly 
served, is considered as the greatest of negative punish- 
ments ; indeed in the military idea, it is a positive one. 

And I sincerely hope, and do firmly believe, (such is 
my opinion of the justice of Congress,) that when they 
have coolly reflected on the merits and fortunes of this 
gentleman, they will do him that justice, which nothing 
but the hasty misconstruction of a law hastily copied 
from another law, never defined nor understood, has 
hitherto prevented. 


Gen. John Cadwalader to Gen. Greene. 

Philad'a, 5"^ Decern^ 1778. 
Dear Sir, ^ 

I am much obliged for your concern for me in a late 
affair — It gives me great pleasure to hear my friends 
approve my conduct, as it would have added greatly to 
my uneasiness if it had been thought that my conduct 
proceeded from a turbulent Disposition. 

Gen. Lee's tryal has been the subject of Conversation 
in all Companies for some time — Congress, I am told, 
have confirmed the sentence — three to one — I do not 
suppose he will ever serve again in our Army — I think 
it would have [been] better if he never had — 

Mr. Dean's publication makes a great Noise — but 
this Ave are told is only a preface to what is to [follow] 

ever will be ambitious and 
every country. No doubt we have [our] share of 
them — when Facts are well ascertained and the writer 
signs his Name the i)ublication have double force — I 
should be very sorry to see the day w^hen a member 
or a number of the members of Congress dare not be 
attacked — I, too, have the highest respect for the 
Body, tho' I know some men of the most infamous 
characters among them — One of the greatest grievances 
that occur to me, in the Army, is, the power Congress 
have of delaying the tryal, and final determination of 
the sentence of the C^ Martial — By the management of 
a few, an officer may be kept out of command 'till he 
may loose every opportimity of distinguishing himself. 

Gen. Arnold is l)ecome very unpopular [among the] 
men in })Ower in Congress, and among those of this 
state in general — Every Gentleman, every man who 
has a liberal way of thinking highly approve his con- 
duct — lie has been civil to every gentleman ^vho has 
taken the oath, intimate with none — ^The Ladies, as 
well those who have taken an active i^art (as our low- 
lived fellows will call it) as those who are good ap- 


proved whigs, have been visited and treated with the 
gi'eatest civilities — These are charges too absurd to 
deserve a serious answer — ^They may serve the purposes 
of Party or Faction, but can never injure the character 
of a man to whom his Country is so much indebted. 
Mifflin is ruined tho' he has bullied Congress. He is 
now turned Le<;islator and is insignijficant m a minonty. 
A man of his [^changeable principles] will not surprise 
me him again at the head of 

affairs ; tho' I am convinced he can never again attempt 
the military. 

The Minister is a polite Gentleman and well cal- 
culated for the present barbarism of the Times. His 
knowledge of mankind makes him overlook, tho' I 
cannot help thinking he must see some men and mea- 
sures in true Colours. 

Where do you take Quarters for the Winter? I 
hope Mrs. Greene will be consulted — ^The amusements 
of Philadelphia I dare say would please her. I am 
just setting off on a visit to my family of little Fellows 
in Maryland — I shall be glad to hear from you when 
have leisure, and I now promise to be a more punctual 

I am D*^ Sir, ^vith great esteem 
Your most ol/. humble Serv^ 

John C^vdwaladeu. 

The lion. Major Gen. Green, 


Col. Laurens. 

Col. Walter Stewakt to General Wayne. 

Philad'. Dec'. 6^^ 1778. 
My dear General 

Extract. — We have no news here but that Lee's 
and Schuyler's sentences are confirmed by Congress; 
this I believe, the former little expected, I imagine we 
shall see a number of his j)ieces in a short time in the 


newspapers ; but from what I can learn, believe he has 
two or tliree very serious accounts to settle shortly ; 
would to God he was this minute relating the Battle 
of Monmouth in the other world, as I look upon him 
to })e a very hurtful man in this. His complaisance to 
the officers is excessive, and does every tning in his 
power to gain their affectiona What he aims at in 
this stej) I cannot conceive, as he knows most of them 
detest him. 

From Colonel H. Butler. 

D*. Lee, 

1 am now out of the service Major Fox succeeds me 
in the 38^** & intend going to England by the first good 
opportunity; you may imagine how much I wish to see 
you before my departure. I have written to General 
Washington on the subject & represented to him that 
some private business relative to money matters be- 
tween us makes it necessary that I should have an in- 
terview with you — If this should be denied me you 
will write to your fi'iend in London relative to the 
Annuity we talked about and give him such directions 
as you shall think proper on that head, respecting the 
purchase you mentioned to me I nuist defer it for the 
present, and when I have settled my affairs at home I 
will write you more fully on that subject — My best 
wishes attend you 

Affect^y Yours 

H: Butler. 

Write to me by the first opportunity imder cover 
directed for Genl. Leslie Staten Island who will for- 
ward your letter. 

York, Dec. 11^ 1778. 


Col. John Laurens to Col. Alex. Hamilton. 

[December 1778.] 
My dear Hamilton: 

You have seen, and by this time considered, General 
Lee's infamous publication. I have collected some 
hints for an answer; but I do not think, either that I 
can rely upon my own knowledge of facts and style to 
answer him fully, or that it w^ould be prudent to under- 
take it without counsel An affair of this kind ought 
to be passed over in total silence, or answered in a 
masterly manner. 

The ancient secretary is the Recueil of modem his- 
tory and anecdotes, and will give them to us with 
candor, elegance, and perspicuity. The pen of Junius 
is in youi* hand ; and I tliink you will, without diffi- 
culty, exjiose, in his defence, letters, and last produc- 
tion, such a tissue of falsehood and inconsistency, as 
will satisfy the world, and put him for ever to silence. 

I think the affair will be definitively decided in Con- 
gress this day. He has found means to league himself 
with the old faotiati^ and to gain a great many par- 

Adieu, my dear boy. I shall set out for camp to- 

JoKN Laurens. 

General Washington to President Reed. 

Middlebrook, 12 December, 1778. 

Extract General Lee's publication in Dunlap's 
Gazette of the 3d inst, (and 1 have seen no other,) puts 
me in a disagreeable situation. I have neither leisure 
nor inclination to enter the lists with him in a news- 
paper : and so far as his production points to person- 
ality, I can and do from my inmost soul, despise it 

Vol. in.— 18 


but when he has most barefacedly misrepresented facts 
in some places, and thrown out msinuations in others 
that have not the smallest foundation in truth, not to 
attempt a refutation is a tacit acknowledgment of the 
justice of his assertions; for though there are thou- 
sands who know how unsupported his piece is, there 
are yet tens of thousands that know nothing of the 
matter, and will be led naturally to conclude tliat bold 
and confident assertions, uncontradicted, must be found- 
ed in truth. 

It became a part of General Lee's plan, from the 
moment of his arrest, (though it was an event solicited 
by himself,) to have the world believe that he was a 
persecuted man, and that party was at the bottom of it. 
jBut however convenient for his purpose to estal)li8h 
this doctrine, I defy him or his most zealous partisans 
to adduce a simple instance in proof of it, unless bring- 
ing him to trial at his own request is considered in 
this light. I can do more ; I will defy any man out of 
my own family to say that I have ever mentioned his 
name after his trial commenced, if it w^as to be avoided ; 
and, when it was not, if I have not studiously declined 
expressing any sentiment of him or his behaviour. How 
far this conduct accords with his, let his own breast 
decide. If he conceives that I was opposed to him 
because he found himself disposed to enter into a party 
against me — if he thought I stood in his road to pre- 
ferment, and therefore tliat it was convenient to lessen 
me in the esteem of my countiymen, in order to pave 
the way for his own advancement — I have only to ob- 
serve, that as I never entertained any jealousy of. or 
apprehension from him, so neither did I do more, than 
common civility and a proper respect to his rank re- 
quired, to conciliate his good opinion. His temper and 
plans were too versatile and violent to attract my admi- 
ration : and that I have escaped the venom of his tongue 
and pen so long, is more to be wondered at than ap- 
plauded ; as it 18 a favour, that no officer under whose 
immediate commands he ever served has the happiness, 
(if happiness can be thus denominated) of boasting. 


From tiie Secretary of Congress. 

Dear Sir, 

I had the honour of your two letters requesting a 
copy of the proceedings of Congress relative to your 
trial. I shall always deem myself happy in an oppor- 
tunity of serving yoiL But if you desire anything 
more than the resolution confirming the sentence 1 
should be much obliged if you would take the trouble 
to apply to Congress that I may not incur censure. 

I am Sir 

Your obedt. humble Serv^ 

CuA. Thomson. 
Dec' 16. 1778. 

To THE President of Congress. 


Dec' ye 17**^ 1778. 

As I find that Congress have thought proper to con- 
firm the Sentence of the Court Martial I hope I may, 
without impropriety, request to be indulged with the 
Minutes of the whole proceedings relative to this affair 
from which I shall be able to Judge on what principle 
I have been condemn'd, for at present I am utterly in 
the dark on this head. 

I am, Sir, with the greatest respect, 

Yoiu- Most Obed' Humble Serv*. 

Charles Lee. 
To His Excellency, John Jay. 
President of Congress. 

Mrs. Werts, Ai-ch Str. between 2 & 3^ Str. 


Proceedings of CoNofeEss. 

In Congress, August 2 1** 1778. 

The proceedings of the Court Martial on the trial of 
Major General Lee were laid before Congress, 

Ordered to lie on the table for the peiiisal of the 
Members to be taken into consideration on Wednesday- 

On niotion, ordered That one hundred copies of the 
proceedings of the Court Martial of the trial of Major 
General Lee be printed for the use of the Members. 

Sept' 7. 1778. 
A letter of 4. fi'om Major Genl. Lee was read en- 
closing the evidence of Major Clark, which he entreats 
may be laid before Congress. 

Ordered That the evidence enclosed in Gen^ Lee's 
letter be not read, but returned to Major Genl. Lee. 

Oct' 9. 1778. 
Ordered That Friday next be assigned for taking^ into 
consideration the proceedings and sentence of the Court 
Martial on the trial of Major Genl. Lee. 

Oct' 20'*^ 1778. 
Resolved That on Friday Congress will take under 
consideration the proceedings of the Court Martial on 
Major General Lee, immediately after reading the pub- 
lic letters and taking order on them and that all the 
members in town be summoned to attend. 

Oct' 23"* 1778. 

According to order Congress took into consideration 
the proceedmgs &, sentence of the Court Martial on the 
trial of Major General Lee, and after debate 

Ordered That the farther consideration thereof be 
postponed to Wednesday next. 


Nov' 30*^ 1778. 
Hesolved That Congress meet on Wednesday Even- 
ing at 6. o'clock to consider the proceedings of the 
Court Martial on the trials of Major Genl. Lee, Maj'' 
General Schuyler and Major General S' Clair. 

Dec' 2. 1778. 

6 o'clock P.M. Congress took into consideration the 
proceedings of the General Court Martial on the trial 
of Major Genl. Lee, whereupon a Motion was made 

That the sentence of the general Court Martial upon 
Major Genl. Lee be carried into execution. 

A motion was made for postponing — yeas and nays 
taken — 

Passed in the negative 

After farther debate adjourned. 

Dec' 4tk 1778. 

6 o'clock, P.M. Congress resumed the consideration 
of the proceedings of the general Court Martial on the 
trial of Major General Lee and the motion made there- 

When the question was about to be put the deter- 
mination thereof was put off by the State of Georgia 
'till to Morrow. 

Dee. 5"^ 1778. 

The determination of the motion which was yester- 
day postponed by a State was called for and on the 
question put, & the yeas & nays taken 

Resolved That the sentence of the General Court 
[Martial upon Major General Lee be carried into exe- 
cution and 

Ordei^ed that the resolutions of Congress on the pro- 
ceedings of the general Courts Martial on the trials of 
Major General Schuyler and Major General Lee be 

Cha. Thomson, 



To Major General Gates. 

Philadelphia Dec'r ye 18"^ 1778. 
My Dr Gates — 

Inclos'd is a letter for General Philips which after 
you have perus'd I beg you will deliver to him after 
the assurances of my respects (which are very sincere, 
for I like the man) You will perceive what is the in- 
tention of it — if your bond is necessary besides the 
bills — I beg you will give it and I will in return more 
than secure you on my lands. You have no doubt 
read my tryal — I send you in addition a paper I have 
since address'd to the public on the subject of the 28th 
of June — You must nave heard likewise of the Con- 
gress having confirni'd this wise and equitable sentence 
— Upon my soul They are all of a piece — the motto of 
America now is — Bob will construe it — Nemo de nobis 
unns ewcellaty et si aliqtm extitetnt^ alio in locOj et 
amid alios sit — ^for God's sake take care of youi^seK 
there is a mine under your feet, the train ready laid, 
the materials are heapVl up from self conceit arrogance 
ignorance and mean jealousy — inclos'd likewise is a 
paper on the subject of poor Conway's case — get it put 
in the Boston rapers if you can. I know not who 
wrote it, tho' the world is pleas'd to lay it to me — 
God bless you and your Family — my love to Mrs. 

C. Lee. 

Contnve to get from Mr. Hastings my fine mai'e — 
and take care of her. 

To Miss Kebecca Franks. 

Philadelphia, Dec. 20th, 1778. 

When an ofiicer of the respectable rank which I 
bear is grossly traduced and calumniated, it is incum- 


bent on him to clear up the affair to the world, with 
as little delay as possible. The spirit of defamation 
and calumny (I am sorry to say it) is grown to a pro- 
digious and intolerable height on this continent. If 
you had accused me of a design to procrastinate the 
war, or of holding a treasonable correspondence with 
the enemy, I could have borne it : this I am used to ; 
and this happened to the great Fabius Maximus. If 
you had accused me of getting drunk as often as I 
could get liquor, as two Alexatulers tlie Great have 
been charged with this vice, I should, perhaps, have 
sat patient under the imputation ; or, even if you had 
given the plainest hints, that I had stolen the soldiers' 
shirts, this I could have put up with, as the great Duke 
of Marlborough would have been an example ; or if you 
had contented youi'self with asserting, that I was so 
abominable a sloven as never to ])art with my shirt, 
until my shii't parted with me, the anecdotes of my 
illustrious name-sake of Sweden would have admin- 
istered some comfoi-t to me. But the calumny you 
have, in the fertility of yoiu* malicious wit, chosen to 
invent, is of so new, so unprecedented, and so hellish a 
kind, as would make Job himself swear like a Vii'ginia 

Is it possible that the celebrated Miss Franks, a lady 
who has had every human and divine advantage, who 
has read, (or, at least, might have read,) in the originals^ 
the New and Old Testaments ; (though I am afraid 
she too seldom looks even into the translations :) I say, 
is it possible that Miss Franks, with every human and 
divine advantage, who might, and ought to have read 
these two good books, which (an old Welsh nurse, 
whose uncle was reckoned the best preacher in Merio- 
nethshire, assured me) enjoin charity, and denounce 
vengeance against slander and evil speaking ; is it pos- 
sible, I again repeat it, that Miss Franks, should, in 
the face oi the day, carry her malignity so far, in the 
I^resence of three most respectable personages ; (one of 
the oldest religion in the world, one of the newest; 


for he is a new-light man ; and the other, most proba- 
bly, of no religion at all, as he is an English* sailor ;) 
but I demand it again and again, is it possible, that 
Miss Franks should assert it, in the presence of these 
respectable personages, "That I wore green breeches 
patched with leather ? " To convict you, therefore, of 
the falsehood of this most diabolical slander ; to put 
you to eternal silence, (if you are not past all grace,) 
and to cover you with a much larger patch of mfaniy 
than you have wantonly endeavoured to fix on my 
breeches, I have thought proper, by the advice of three 
very grave friends, (lawyers and members of Congress, 
of course excellent judges in delicate points of honour,) 
to send you the said breeches, and, with the conscious- 
ness of truth on my side, to submit them to the most 
severe inspection and scrutiny of you and all those who 
may have entered into this wicked cabal against my 
honour and reputation. I say, I dare you, and your 
whole junto, to yom* worst : tuni them, examine them, 
inside and outside, and if you find them to be green 
breeches patched with leather, and not actually legiti- 
mate sherry vallies* such as his Majesty of Poland 
wears, (who, let me tell you, is a man that has made 
more fashions than all your knights of the Meschianzaf 
put together, notwithstanding their beauties ;) I repeat 
it, (though I am almost out of breath with repetitious 
and parentheses,) that if these are j)roved to be patched 
green breeches, and not real legitimate sherry vallies^ 
(which a man of the first hon ton might be proud of,) 
I will submit in silence to all the scumlity which, 1 
have no doubt, you and your abettors are prepared to 
pour out against me, in the public papers, on this im- 
portant and interesting occasion. But, Madam ! 
Madam ! reputation (as " Common Sense," very sen- 
sibly, though not veiy uncommonly observes,) is a 

* A kind of long breeches reaching to the ancle, with a broad stripe of 
leather on the inside of the thigh, for the conveniency of riding. 

t An entertainment given by General Howe just before the evacuation of 
Philadelphia, at which were introduced Tilts and Tournaments in favour 
of the ladies, of whom Miss Franks was one. 


serious thing. You have alreadjr injured me in the 
tenderest part, and I demand satisfaction ; and as you 
cannot be ignorant of the laws of duelling, having con- 
versed with so many Irish officers, whose favourite 
topic it is, particularly in the company of ladies, I in- 
sist on the privilege of the injured party, which is, to 
name his hour and weapons ; and as I intend it to be a 
very serious affair, I will not admit of any seconds ; 
and you may depend upon it. Miss Franks, that what- 
ever may be your spirit on the occasion, the world 
shall never accuse General Lee with having turned his 
back upon you. In the mean time, 

I am, &C.J Yours, 

Charles Lee. 

Miss Franks, Philadelphia. 

P. S. I have communicated the affair only to my 

confidential friend , who has mentioned it to no 

more than seven members of Congress and nineteen 
women, six of whom are old maids ; so that there is no 
danger of its taking wind on my side : and, I hope, 
you will be equally guarded on your part. 

General Orders. (Extract.) 
Head Quarters Middlebrook, 22^ December 1778 

At a General Court Martial, whereof Major General 
Lord Sterling was President, held the 4**" of July last 
at BrunswicK and other times and places aftenvards 
by adjournment for the trial of Major General Lee, on 
the following charges : 

First : For disobedience of orders in not attacking 
the enemy on the 28^ of July agreeable to repeated 

Secondly : For Misbehaviour before the Enemy on 


the same day, by making an unnecessarj'^, disorderly, 
and shameful retreat before the enemy. 

Thirdly : For disrespectful behaviour to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief in two letters dated the 28**" of June 
and the first of July. 

The Court passea sentence on the case in the follow- 
ing words : 

The Court liaving considered the first charge against 
Major General Lee, the evidence and his defence, ai'e 
of opinion that he is guilty of Disobedience of Orders 
in not attacking the enemy on the 26^** of June, agree- 
able to repeated instructions, it being a breach of the 
latter j^art of Article 3"*, Section 2** of the Rules and 
Regulations of War. 

The Court having considei'ed the second charge 
against Major General Lee, the evidences and his (ie- 
fence, are oi opinion he is guilty of misbehaviour before 
the enemy on the 28^** of June by making an unneces- 
sary and, in some instances, a Disorderly retreat, being 
a breach of the 13^** Article of the 13^** Section of the 
Articles of War. 

The Court having considered the third charge against 
Major General Lee are of opinion that he is guilty of 
Disrespect to the Commander in Chief in two letters 
dated the 28^^ of June and l** of July, being a breach 
of the Second Article of the Second Section of the Ar- 
ticles of War. 

The Court do sentence Major General Lee to be sus- 
pended from any command in the Annies of the United 
States of North America for the term of twelve 

The Honorable the Congress have been pleased to 
confirm the foregoing sentence as follows : 

In Congress, the 5'^ of Dec' 1778. 

Resolved, that the Sentence of the Court Martial 
upon Major General Lee be carried into execution. 


To Colonel John Laurens. 

[December 22d, 1778.] 

I am extremely sorry that the nature of my busyness 
should have laid an embargo on me so long — but as I 
now begin to apprehend from the delay of Congress 
that the ultimate determinations of my transactions 
with that Body ^vdll not require less than a month 
which is too tedious to think of I will do myself the 
Honour of meeting you attended by a Friend with a 
])race of pistols to-morrow [at] i past 3. p. m. I would 
willingly bring a small sword at the same time, but 
fi'om the effects of my fall and the quantity of Phy- 
sick I have taken to baffle a fit of the Gout which I 
apprehended I do not think myself sufficiently strong 
on my legs — there is on the point and no point road, 
to the left hand a little on the Philad. side of the four 
mile stone a very convenient piece of wood, where 
unless it should rain I will do myself the honour of 
meeting you. 

In the meantime I am Sir, 

Your most Obedt. Servt. 

C. L. 

Narrativ:^ of a Duel between General Lee and 

Colonel Laurens. 

24th December, 1778. 

General Lee, attended by Major Edwards and Col. 
Laurens attended by Col. Hamilton, met agreeable to 
appointment on Wednesday afternoon half i)ast three, 
in a wood, situate near the four mile stone on the Point- 
no-Point Road. Pistols having been the weapons pre- 
viously fixed upon, and the combatants being provided 
with a brace each, it was asked in what manner they 


were to proceed. General Lee proposed to advance 
upon one another, and each fire at what time and dis- 
tance he thought proper. Col. Laurens expressed his 
preference of this mode, and agreed to the proposal 

They approached each other within about five or six 
paces, and exchanged a shot almost at the same moment. 
As Col. Laurens was preparing for a second discharge, 
General Lee declared nimself wounded. Col. Laurens, 
as if apprehending the wound to be more serious than 
it proved, advanced towards the General to offer his 
support. The same was done by Col. Hamilton and 
Major Edwards under a similar apprehension. Gene- 
ral Lee then said the wound was inconsiderable ; less 
than he had imagined at the first stroke of the ball, 
and proposed to fire a second time. This was warmly 
opposed both by Col. Hamilton and Major Edwards, who 
declared it to be their opinion, that the affair should 
terminate as it then stood. But General Lee repeated 
his desire, that there should be a second discharge, and 
Col. Laurens agreed to the proposal. Col. Hamilton 
observed that, unless the General was influenced by 
motives of personal enmity, he did not think the affair 
ought to be pursued any further ; but as General Lee 
seemed to persist in desiring it, he was too tender of 
his friend's honor to persist in opposing it. The com- 
bat was then going to be renewed ; but Major Edwards 
again declaring his opinion, that the affair ought to 
end where it was. Gen. Lee then expressed his confi- 
dence in the honor of the gentlemen concerned as sec- 
onds, and said he should be willing to comply with 
whatever they should coolly and deliberately deter- 
mine. Col. Laurens consented to the same. 

Col. Hamilton and Major Edwards withdrew, and 
conversing a while on the subject, still concurred fully 
in the opmion, that for the most urgent reasons, the 
affair should terminate as it was then circumstanced. 
This decision was communicated to the parties and 
agreed to by them, upon which they immediately re- 


turned to town ; General Lee slightly wounded in the 
riglit side. 

During the interview a conversation to the following 
purport passed between General Lee and Col. Laurens. 
On Colonel Hamilton's intimating the idea of personal 
enmity, as before mentioned — Gen. Lee declared he had 
none, and had only met Col. Laurens, to defend his own 
honour — that Mr. Laurens best knew whether there 
was any on his part. Col. Laurens replied, that Gene- 
ral Lee was acquainted with the motives that had 
brought him there, >vhich were, that he had been 
informed from what he thought good authority, tliat 
Gen. Lee had spoken of General Washington in the 
grossest and most opprobrious terms of personal abuse, 
which he, CoL Laurens, thought himself bound to re- 
sent, as well on account of the relation he bore to 
General Washington, as from motives of personal 
friendship and respect for his character. General Lee 
acknowledged that he had given his opinion against 
General Washington's military character to his particu- 
lar friends, and might perhaps do it again. He said 
every man had a right to give his sentiments freely of 
military characters, and that he did not think himself 
personally accountable to Col. Laurens for what he 
had done in that respect. But he said he never had 
spoken of General Washington in the terms mentioned, 
which he could not have done ; as well because he had 
always esteemed General Washington as a man, as 
because such abuse would be incompatible with the 
character he would ever wish to sustain as a gentleman. 
Upon the whole, we think it a piece of justice to the 
two gentlemen to declare, that after they met, their 
conduct was strongly marked with all the politeness, 
generosity, coolness and firmness, that ought to charac- 
terize a transaction of this nature 

Alexander Hamilton. 

Ev. Edwards. 

Philadelphia, December 24th 1778- 


To General Washington. 

Philadelphia Dec' ye 24*^ [1778.] 

Colonel Butler (whose letter Your Excellency had 
the kindness to transmit to me) is one of the oldest and 
dearest Friends I have in the world — my duty to so 
staunch a Friend, my inclinations and my interests eon- 
cur to make me ardently desirous of having an interview 
with him before He embarks for England — I believe 
this Gentleman has an intention to purchase and settle 
in America — with your leave therefore I request the 
liberty of meeting with him, and that you will have 
the goodness to transmit the inclos'd to him, and remain 
with the greatest respects, Sir, 

Your Excellency's most Obed* humble Serv* 

Charles Lee. 
His Excellencv 

General Washington. 

Proposals for ^he Formation of a Body of Light 
Troops Ready to be Detach'd on Emergent Oc- 
casions. [1778. J 

Count Pulesky is certainly a good soldier or He is 
not — for my own part I believe him a very good one — 
in the first place He is a Poland er whose genius is 
adapted to the light or expedite war — in the second 
place he has had much practice in the best schools — is 
undoubtedly brave and enterprizing — if He is not a 
good soldier as his coi'ps is expensive He ought not to 
be retain'd — therefore it is expedient either to send him 
about his busyness entirely or to make the proper use 
of him — but on the supposition that He knows his 
trade, I wou'd propose tne following scheme — that his 
legion shou'd be immediately compleated to [twelve] 


hundred men — four hundred Cavalry and eight hun- 
dred light infantry — for these eight hundred infantry 
that a draft shou'd be made witnout loss of time from 
every Regiment of the Continent entirely of natives, 
not so young as to be unable to resist the fatigues of 
this sort of service, and but still of the proper age for 
violent exercise and forced marches — Major Lee who 
seems to have come out of his mother's womb a soldier, 
shou'd be incorporated in this Legion with the rank of 
Lieut. Colonel and to command specifically the whole 
cavalry — if Major Lee's corps (for I know their strength) 
will [not] added to the Cavalry Pulesky already has, 
com pleat 'em to four hundred — let their be a draft made 
from the other Regiments of Cavalry — Moilands Blands 
and Sheldon's all Natives and the very youngest men 
because on Pulesky's principle of exercise (which I 
verily believe to be the best in the world) none but 
very young men are capable of being trained to the 
manoeuvres — ^but [as] it is not certain that either Count 
Pulesky or Major Lee understand the detail of Cavalry 
(on which so much depends) let some Quarter Masters 
or Serjeants who have served in the British Cavalry 
(and there are many on the Continent) be found out, 
encourag'd with rank and emolument and employed — 
a Corps thus compos'd with brave and understanding 
Officers at their head, such as are Pulesky and Lee with 
a few subordinate officers knowing in the detail will 
render more effectual service than any ten Regiments 
on the Continent — it wou'd likewise put a stop for the 
future (or it ought to put a stop) to that odious perni- 
cious practice ot picking the best men from every Bat- 
talion on what are call'd extraordinary occasions — 
which practice has absolutely no other effect than dis- 
gusting the greater part of the Officers of the Ai*my 
and rendering the whole dispirited and unfit for action. 
I cou'd quote a strong instance of the bad consequences 
of this custom — Some days before the affair of Mon- 
mouth, General Scott was detach'd with a Corps of 
pick'd men and officers to the no small disgust of those 


who were left behind, who cou'd not help considering 
it as a sort of stigma on their characters — after this the 
Marquis of Fayette was detach'd with another [force] 
of one thoushand pick'd out in the same manner — this 
Body now consisting of twenty five hundred men instead 
of falling on the Enemy's flanks did from some fatality 
absolutely nothing at all. I was afterwards order'd to 
march to sustain em with thi-ee scanty Brigades com- 
pos'd entirely of the refuse, and of this renise I was 
under the necessity of forming my own guard on the 
day of the action of Monmouth — for the pick'd Corps 
by the blunders committed were so fatigued that They 
cou'd scarcely move their legs. 

Col. KoBEiiT Troup to Major General Gates. 

Session Court House, Jan. 3rd 1779. 
My dear General, 

We had the happin(»ss of reaching Sussex the Day 
before Yesterday in the afternoon. You cannot con- 
ceive the diflSculties we have met with on the Koad. 
The People, of almost eveiy House we stopt at, seemed 
to take pleasure in making our stay with them uncom- 
fortable. I am sorry to add that the women were 
most impolite to Madam De Reidesel. They could not 
banish from their minds, the Notions they have im- 
bibed, of the Cruelties our Prisoners have received. 
Some were afraid of being plundered by us, and othei-s 
of being killed. One Young Girl, who had been lately 
married, cried <fe gnashed her Teeth, near two Hours, 
because I requested her to let Madam De Reidesel sleep 
in her Bed-Room, where she had a few Gowns, Petti- 
coats, Pots & Trammels. Indeed such has been the 
Incivility of all Ranks <fe Degrees to us, that I have 
suffered the most painful anxiety ever since I left 
Cambridge. Madam de Reidesel, the General & his 
family have shewn me every mark of Complaisance <& 


Respect They & the Children were very well, a few 
rviiuutes ago, when they set off for Easton. 

The Militia Guard, that escorted the General's Bag- 
gage from Hartford to the York Line, broke open some 
of the Boxes & plundered them of several Dozens of 
Wine, a great number of Spermaceti Candles, <fe five 
Dozen Packs of Cards. As we were not with them 
we could take no steps to punish them. The General 
was so much displeased with their Conduct, that he 
wrote a Letter to General ^PDougall about them, who 
returned him a veiy polite answer, and furnished him 
with a Guard of Continental Troops to escort his Bag- 
fCa<i:e to this Post. 

General Phillips arrived here yesterday. He has 
l)een more fortunate than we were in ffettinji: teams at 
Hartford & Newbury. At the last Place we were de- 
tained three weeks before Teams enough could be col- 
lected for us. General Phillips is now in the Room, 
and begs to me to present his most respectful Compli- 
ments to you ck Mrs Gates. Lieut. Campbell, if nis 
Family get permission of Lord Sterling, to go to New 
York; but General Phillips cannot go by the waj^ of 
Head Quarters, as he expected, because General W ash- 
ington is now in Philadelphia. 

Lord Stirling commands in New-Jersey, in the ab- 
sence of General Washington, who I am told is to re- 
turn in a Fortuifi^ht. Mrs. Washinsrton is in Philadel- 
phia and will spend the Winter with the (xeneral. 

The army is halted at Middle Brook; and the officer, 
whom Lord Stirling sent to accompany Madam l)e 
Reidesel to Virginia, assures me that they are well 
j>leased with tlieir Quarters. Not\vithstanding his as- 
sui'ances I must indulge my private opinion which, I 
am convinced, is not very different from yours. 

Yesterday 1 saw a Gentleman I was acc^uainted with 
in Albany who had just come from Philadelphia He 
})ring8 no ne\vs from Europe ; but says it is generally be- 
lieved in Philadelphia that Parliament will acknowledge 
our Independence this Winter. — " JSxitus in dubio e^t.'^ 
Vol. hi.— 19 


Congress have confirmed the sentence of tlie Court 
Martial against General Lee, <fe he is suspended foi* a 
Twelvemonth. He has lately pul)lished a Piece in the 
.Pliiladelphia paper which Col. Malcom had read, <fe 
pronounces extremely severe. His satyr is pointed par- 
ticularly at General Washington & Family. I sup- 
pose this Piece occasioned the Duel which was fought 
the other Day l>y Gen'. Lee & Col. Laurens, the 
A D Camp, in Philadelphia. My Albany acquaintance 
says General Lee was slightly wounded in the Body, 
and intends to have another Pop as soon as he recovers. 
I will give you a more full account of this matter when 
I am better informed than at present. 

The sj)irit of Faction still continues to rage in Con- 
gress. For the Truth of this assertion let me refer you 
to a Publication of M"". in the Fish-Kill Paj)er 

against the Lee Family. The enclosed Paper contains 
R. H. Lee's Answer, and many other Matters you will 
be fond of knowing. I hope therefore it will be ac- 

Col. Malcom promised me to write to you. I fear he 
will resign. ISo Person has more reason to be dis- 
gusted. General M'^Dougall removed him & his Gar- 
rison from West-Point. I have seen several letters 
which passed between them on the subject. Col. Mal- 
com's are manly and sj)irited. M^'Dougall's are couched 
in the humble style of a cringing, contemptible Scotch- 

I should have WTitten to you from Fish-Kill but 
really I had nothing worthy of your notice. 

I j)ropose going to Morris Town Tomorrow. When I 
get at the end of my Journey I shall write to you 

I beg you will i^emember me very affectionately to 
Mrs. Gates, Robert, <fc the Family. 

I am. My Dear General With all })ossible 

Respect & Esteem, 
Your very humble Serv^ 

Rob'^. Tkoup 

M. Gen. Gates. 


From General Anthony Wayne. 

Eliz^ Town 7'*^ Jan^ 1779. 
8 o'clock 

The very severe Strictures which you were pleased 
to make on my Evidence in the Course of your trial on 
Ace* of the Action of Monmouth, — <fe the ungenerous 
tho^ free Manner in which you Affect to treat my 
Opinion & military Character in that and a late Pub- 
lication in Mr. Dunlaps paper, gives a sensation much 
better felt than exjiressed. 

If it was your Intention by these Strictures to Injure 
my Military Character in the eye of the World — 1 
know you will have the Candor to acknowledge it &> 
Honor enough to give me that Satisfaction which one 
Gentleman has a right to claim of an Other, feeling 
himself injured in so tender a point. 

Mr. Archer who delivers this, will wait your An* 
swei*. Interim, I am 

Your most Obt. 

Hum^ Ser't. 

Anty. Wayne. 
Major General Lee. 

Dear Sir, 

May I beg the favour of your delivering the En- 
closed. It's only asking an explanation on a point in 
which I conceive my Honor, concerned — yours will not 
be Injured in the Execution of it. 

You'l please to Reciuest an Answer I shall be at 
CoP* Barber's Quarters. Gen^ Lee is at Doct' Bamet's. 

I am yours most sincerely 

Anty Wayne. 
7th Jan'y. 1779. 

Henry Archer, Esq. 


To General Wayne. 

Elizabeth Town Jan^ ye 7'^ 1779. 

That I should not have a right to sliew (^vllen my 
life fame and fortunes are at stake) the weakness of 
any opinions delivered by an evidence on the part of 
prosecution is left for the present lunnour of the times 
— you thought that we ought to have staid in a certain 
position — I think your opinion on this point extremely 
erroneous — and that had We adopted the measure of 
remaining We had been lost — this is sincerely my opin- 
ion and 1 certainly have a right to give it. 

You have undoubtedly the same riglit to give your 
opinion and the reasons for your opinion for tlie con- 
trary — if this is treating your military character with 
contempt I am guilty but in no other respect — I can 
honestly assure you that I have acted with the greatest 
candor towards you — on every occasion when you have 
been mentioned as the Author of my wicked ])rosecu- 
tion (for so I must think it) I have totally exculpated 
you from the charge and have done justice to your 
courage and Integrity. 

With respect to my publication in Dunlap's paper — 
I give you my word and honour tliat any further than 
condenming the position you seem'd to approve of, I 
never had you or any one of the Evidences in my 
tlioughts — perhaps you have conceived some ex])res- 
sions made use of m this ])aj)er as alluding to you, 
when they alluded to the ])roceedings of the Court, 
which you will see in some strictures I shall soon j)ub- 
lish. I will now seriously conjure you well to consider 
whether the step you are now taking -Will not luirt you 
more in the opinion of the world than anything I have 
said — however if you still persevere in your intention 
— as soon as I have taken final leave of Congress, pub- 
lish VI my case to the world at large, and am sufficiently 
recover'd from my late accident to act with vigor I 


will not decline your invitation — altho' at the same 
time expressing my concern that a man of your courage 
and, I believe firmly, integrity shoii'd appear in the 
list of Persecutors of a man already too nmch perse- 
cuted for the honour of this country which 
venture to sfay he has] twice saved from destruction 
by IS now the object of general s abuse 

and every injurious treatment in the mean [time I am] 

Sir, your m[ost obedient] Serv*^ 

Charles Lee. 

From General Wayne. 

Elizabeth Town 7. Jany 1779. 

That you have a right to differ in opinion with me 
or any other Gent° (in a point where your life, fame, 
and fortunes are at stake) I readily grant, and that 
you have also a right to Condemn any position which 
m your opinion was Improper — but I must still be 
permitted to think that you had no right to take such 
free liberty, in other Instances, with the Military 
Character of a Gent" who never Injured you farther 
than as evidence with regard to the transactions of that 
day — 

You do me great injustice when you place me in the 
list of your per^eouiorsi — I shou'd be tne last man in 
this country that would be guilty of so great a piece 
of cruelty — unless it be deemed JPersecutiaii to ask 
redress for my Injur'd Character. 

I very sincerely lament the illiberality of some per- 
sons (wno may be truly called Persecutors) that have 
attacked your character in the Public papei*B in an 
unwarrantable and unmanly manner, to give it no 
harsher terms — and I most ardently wish my feelings 
had never been hurt by a Perusal of them. 

" When you have taken your final kave of Congress, 
published your case to the world and sufficiently Re- 


covered from your late accident to [act] with vigor " 
I shall expect <fe be happy to hear from you. 
Interim — I wish you every Comfort, and am 

Youi' most obt. Hble servt. 

Ant^ Wayne. 
Major Genl. Lee. 


January 12. 1779. 

Lost or stolen, on the seventh instant, a small Eng- 
lirfh Spaniel DOG, the grounds of his colour is a very 
shining wliite, his ears mark'd with yellow ; as likewise 
two or three yellow broad sj)ots on his side and rump, 
his tail extremely bushy ; had on a brass collar with 
General Lee's name. 'Whoever will bring him to Capt. 
Clunn's, at Trenton ; to M"^ Clarkson's, at Brunswick ; 
Mr. Stockton's, at Princeton ; to M' De Hart's at Eliz- 
abethtown; to General Knox, at Pluck'emin, shall 
receive Twenty Dollars reward. 

FuoM Governor William Livingston. 

Brunswick 16^^ January 1779. 

I am honoured with your favour of the 13^*" and can 
assure y<m that of the merit or demerit of your conduct 
in the affair of Monmouth on the 28th of June, I have 
not to this day framed mv opinion. I have so little 
leisure to attend to the military operations of Ameiica, 
and am so incompetent a judge of the qualifications 
necev«?sary to constitute the character of a General that 
I make no judgment at all. But without admitting or 
denying that " you have made greater sacrifices in the 
cause of American freedom than any ofiicer of our whole 


army without a single exception, & that it is not less 
certain that you have saved our whole array more than 
once from destniction " (tlie proofs of which are not in 
my possession) I can assure you that I heartily disap- 
prove of all publications containing personal reflections 
on the character of any Gentleman, <fe especially on 
those of your rank in the American Army. And if 
wliat was presented to the public as a meer republica- 
tion of a paper formerly printed by a Virginian [Tory] 
has been as you say republished with many malicious 
alterations <fe additions, it is still the more inexcusable ; 
— because all such alterations and additions, besides 
their particular malignity against you (for wliicli alone I 
should condemn them) are an imposition upon the world, 
and must be considered by eveiy man of honor, })e the 
legal construction what it will, as a downright forgery. 
I can farther assure you that I cannot but disapprove 
of Mr. CoUins's inserting the paper you refer to, m his 
Gazette, not only because no printer ought to make his 
press a vehicle lor personal slander, but because he set 
out with a professed declaration against diverting his 
paper to such purposes and has so tenaciously adhered 
to that maxim till the publication in question, as to re- 
ject, if my infermation be true, several pieces on account 
of the personal reflections they contained on Gentlemen 
in the service of the Enemy, <fe which the Law of re- 
taliation would clearly have warranted him to insert. 
And I must declare in justice to him, & from what I 
personally know of his humane disposition, and his dis- 
inclination to convey thro' the channel of his press any- 
thing injurious to the reputation of others, that I firmly 
believe he has taken the paper presented to him as a 
copy of a publication in Virginia, for a true copy. And 
it IS generally supposed, by virtue of what Law I know 
not (but perhaps by one as rational as that of deciding 
controversies by private combat in civil communities 
which reprobate that mode of decision) that a printer 
by the bare republication of a paper is not presumed 
to adopt the sentiments, & that by disclosing to the 



)artv aggrieved, at whose instance it was republiah'd 
le always averts the indignation of the sufferer from 
himself, to that person. I should however be very- 
sorry to find any of our printei-s imitate the practice of 
the British subjects in New York, who whether tliey 
excel us in military discipline and courage or not, have 
to my certain knowledge, hitherto suq)assedus in printed 
calumny & detraction. 

From these my sentiments respecting the Printers of 
defamatoiy papers, I hope Sir, you will not question my 
disapprol>ation both of the original authors & the 
secondary propagators of slander. But neither Mr. 
Boudinot's appointment to, nor deposition from, his 
office as Commissary of our State prisoners, being in my 
department, it is not in my power to do you the justice 
w^hich you seem to expect in that line. Nor is there any 
authority in this State by which he can be cashiered 
'till the next meeting of our Assembly which stands ad- 
journed to the 19th of May. But the Law of the State 
is always at every one's service, and in the case of libels, 
if we are to credit the British Lawyers, so peculiarly 
favourable to the prosecutor, that the scandal is not the 
less penal for l)eing true, than if it was utterly false ; 
which I think is giving a man as great a chance as can 
reasonably l)e desired, and perhaps if you thought 
proper to publish your letter to me on the subject under 
consideration, it w^ould be as amj)le satisfaction against 
Mr. Boudinot as the natiu^e of the offence recjuires, but 
that I entirely submit to yoiu* l>etter judgment. In a 
word Sir, whenever it shall be pointed out to me in what 
manner I can wuth any proj)riety interfere in the matter, 
either as Governor of this State, or as a private Gentle- 
man I shall not hesitate a moment to do you all the 
1'ustice, which I conceive you deserve. In the meantime 
embrace this opportunity to re-acknowledge mj'^ grate- 
ful sense of your friendly intimations sometime since of 
the Enemy's j)eculiar resentment against me, and your 
kind concern for my personal safety uj)on that account, 
I must however take the liberty to say as a man de- 


taclied from all parties, & wholly devoted to what he 
thinks the true interest of his Country, that I should 
V)e extremely unhappy in having reason to believe, what 
is frecjuently & perhaps injuriously reported of you, that 
you endeavoured to lessen the estimation in which Gen- 
eral Washington is held by the most virtuous Citizens 
of America ; and which estimation, not Sir, from a blind 
attachment to men of high rank, nor fiom any self in- 
terested motive whatsoever, but from a full conviction of 
his great personal merit <fe public importance, I deem it 
my duty to my country, to use my utmost influence to 
support. I am 

With all due respect. Sir 

Your most humlJe Serv* 

WiL : Livingston. 
Major General Lee. 

Newspaper Article referred to in the foregoing 


[New Jersey Gazette. (Vol. L N«. 50) Dec. 31. 1778.1 

Mr Collins, 

The attempt of a certain General Officer lately con- 
demned by a Court Martial for his mal-conduct, to raise 
a party in his favor, by calling in question the abilities 
not only of our illustrious Commander in chief, but tliat 
of all our General Officers — has justly raised the indig- 
nation of every honest man — His publications are an 
insult to America. It is a degree of vanity without a 
parallel, even to hope to raise himself into importance, 
by affecting to be a competitor for popularity with that 
great and good man. There is no more similarity be- 
tween their characters than there is between virtue and 
vice — good and evil — And he may assure himself that 
before ne can raise a party in America in his favor, he 
must first deprive the people of their senses, and teach 
them that light and darkness are synonymous terms. 
But as the character of this genius appears to be partic- 


ularly delineated in an old Virginia paper of the year 
1775, I send it you, and desire yon will republish the 
same in your useful Gazette. It is true, the writer of 
this piece appears to be a tory ; yet truth spoken >)y an 
enemy, is notwithstanding truth still, and the conduct of 
that officer since that period fully verifies the character. 


To (lie Printer of the Virginia Gazette. 

'J'he dispositions of the human mind are as various 
as the human countenance, and it is said everv man's 
character may be viewed in as many different lights as 
his face. A certain wandering being has just made his 
appearance in this country, and however multifarious 
the talents and features of this genius are, I will attempt 
to delineate them. Nature Ima not given him a face to 
belie his heart — sharp canine eyes — a large ^ luniinous, 
aquiline nose — a hard visage — a livid coniplexion — a 
sour^ restless^ discontented countenance form no bad in- 
dex to the soul within. This man is by profession AN'hat 
is called a Mercenary soldier, that is, a man who is al- 
together void of principle, who never consults conscience, 
but is ev^er guided by interest in his pursuits, and 
changes sides for one more farthing more added to his 
pay. It is difficult to ascribe any other motive of con- 
duct to our hero than avarice — avarice has got posses- 
sion of him before her time and though not past the 
middle a^e of life, he is a miser of eic^htv — thous^h an 
epicure by inclination, was it not for the hospitality of 
the Americans, he would starve himself to death to save 
his money; and fi'om this cause in his rambles, his 
body suffers much by his abstinence. Yet he contra- 
dicts the poet when he says. 

One mast<?r passion in the breast 

Like Aaron's serijent swallows up the rest. 

For our Hero with this sordid quality, which is com- 


moiily deemed sufficient ballast against levity, has in 
him a spice of quixotism, to account for which, would 
require some astronomical knowledge in the system of 
a neighboring planet, under whose influence the nativity 
of our hero is supposed to have existed. He is an ever 
constant attendant of the Daemon of Discord, and lias 
run over the whole world in search of her 'till he found 
her in Poland — a most ample theatre to glut his diaboli- 
cal passion — he first engaged with the mal-contents, then 
entered into the service of the unhappy sovereign of 
that country as a Colonel, but the distress of his Majesty 
being too great to satisfy the rapacity of the Mercen- 
ary, he quitted that service, but prevailed with his 
majesty to confer upon him the nominal honor of a 
General befoi'e his departure, being indebted for this 

Eiece of civility, to a vehement desire of getting quit of 
im. After this he offered his seivices to the Russians 
and alternately to the Turks, but being disappointed in 
all quarters, he returned without laurels or profit, sul- 
len and discontented, to his native country, with how- 
ever some hopes of preferment there. These were soon 
blasted — his worth was too well known, for him to rise 
beyond the common road of promotion. The unhappy 
dissensions with America, afforded him a pleasant ])ro8- 

1)ect, he hies him immediately to that quarter — They 
lav^e placed this Apostate at the head of their armies. 
What glorious success may not be expected fi'om their 
choice ! Fascinated as they are, they may be delivered 
over l>ound to those they are in arms against, in order 
to secui'e the future peace of the Mercenary and not 
to belie the uniformity of his character, when the alarm 
of THE Philistines are upon thee will be too late. 
This man calls himself a patriot, and his audacity in 
assuming this character, can only be equalled by the 
credidity of the deluded multitude he imposes on — des- 
titute of every component quality of patriotism, what 
claim can he have to that honorable title ? He is a 
j)ei'fect * Samnite in his hatred of mankind and his love 

♦ Vide, Plut. Vit Cos. 


of dogs, sordid and covetous to extreme, void of religion, 
honor, truth, or friendship. Compare him with the 
famous villain of antiquity — Cataline, was a contemner 
of tlie gods, profligate in his morals and a parricide of 
his country ; here the parallel breaks, for he was also 
profuse in his expenses, a lover of women, true and 
steady in his attachment to his favourites, and withal 
graceful in his appearance, and good natured in his 
manners. In his xrantic fits our hero affects the Alex- 
ander.* Alas ! vain weak man ! how soon will thy 
dreams be at a Period ? A Gordian Knot placed by a 
hand inferior to a deity's will baffle all thy powers of 
art. You have nothing now but to exclaim with the 
hero of Milton, 

So farewell, hope j ♦ * * 

Farewell remorse I all good to me is lost I 

Evil I be thou my good. ♦ ♦ ♦ 

You've fairly become a candidate for infamy 
Ravish'd with the whistling of a name, 
See Cromwell damn'd to everlasting fame I 

But even this damn'd fame you will not attain to. 
As your life will prove dishonorable to yourself, so 
posterity will not be emulous of drawing honors from 
so iguominious a source — The tomb of oblivion will be 
the best record of your epitaph. 


From Major Evan Edwards to Isaac Collins. 

[N. J. Gazette (No. 60) Jan. 27. 1779.] 

M". Collins, 

In your Gazette of tlie 30*** of Dec', there appeared 
an attemi)t against General Lee's character, as wicked 
in its intentions as false in its assertions ; whether the 
sterility of the brain obliged, or the villainy of the heart 
induced the author to adopt the rascally production of 

* See the letter to General Burgoyne. 


a merceuary retainer of Lord Dunniore's, so famed for 
Ills enmity to this country, the public must judge. 

But the original composer of this calumny is com- 
paratively a man of sense and candor, because it is ob- 
vious his motives were to answer a political purpose, 
whereas the motives of your correspondent could at best 
be l)ut a pitiful attempt to blast tne character of a man 
who has sacrificed his friends and voluntarily staked a 
solid independent fortune on the fate of the liberties of 
a people, for whom, if he was as avaricious as he is in 
defiance of notorious facts represented to be, and his 
most sanguine expectations answered, he could not pos- 
sibly expect a recompense equivalent to what he de- 
prived himself of. 

The hero of this performance, in order to give credit 
to his scandalous libel^ has artfully taken, it up upon the 
wild supposition that General Lee aims at shaking the 
confidence of the people in General Washington. This 
from the long personal acquaintance I have liad the 
honor of having with General Lee, is equally as false 
as the sequel ; but even admitting it to be true, does it 
prove him to be a scoundrel^ a villain^ a Catalhie^ a 
Samnite, a penurious wretch that would change sides 
for a farthing more added to his pay ? 

I am conscious eveiy man who is a friend to this com- 
rrmnity^ a friend to t)irtice or justice^ and every man 
who would reprobate Genl Lee in any attempts to de- 
preciate so valuable a character as General Washing- 
ton's, must despise the rancorous villain, who, from the 
baseness of his soul, could be capable of composing, or 
instrumental in publishing such false^ such dastardly^ 
and such malignant calumny. 


Evan Edwards. 

January !:>'** 1779. 


To Miss Kebecca Franks. 

Philadelphia, Jan. 28th, 1779. 

Nothing has happened to me of late, that has given 
me more concern than the serious light in which I am 
told you are persuaded to consider tne harmless jocular 
letter I wrote to you ; I say, persuaded to consider ; 
because on the first receipt of it, when you were di- 
rected by your own excellent understanding alone, you 
conceived it as it was meant, an innocent ^'e^ cPeajnnL 

I do not mean to compliment, when I assure you, upon 
my honour, that it was the good opinion I had of your 
understanding whicli encouraged me to indulge myself 
in this piece of raillery, which in effect, is not in the least 
directed against you, but against myself and a few 
otliers ; if it contains any satire, you are obviously the 
vehicle, not the object. 

My acquaintance w^ith you is too slender to admit of 
my taking any liberties which border on familiarity ; 
and unless I had been taught to believe, that the liber- 
ality of your mind and cheerfulness of your disposition 
w^ere such that you w^ould be pleased with any effort 
to make you laugh for a moment in these melancholy 
times, I declare upon the w^ord of an honest man, if I had 
thought a single sentence of this trash could have given 
you uneasiness, I would sooner liave put my hand into 
the fire than have written it. Thank God, I have not 
that petulant itch for scribbling, or vain ambition of 
passing for a wit, as to 

Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear, 
Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear. 

And, to speak my real thoughts, I am thoroughly per- 
suaded, that you must suffer yourself to be biassed l>y 
people infinitely your inferiors in capacity ; and if you 
really are offended by what nobody, who is not below 
mediocrity in understanding, can mistake for any thing 


but an harmless joke, founded on the good opinion of the 
]>ers()n to whom it is addressed, I confess I have been 
much deceived in you. I must, therefore, think that 
by consulting yourself alone, you will consider it in its 
proper light, and believe me to be, with the greatest 

Madam, Your most obedient. 

And very humble servant, 

Charles Lee. 
Miss Franks, Philadelphia. 

From Col. Walter Stewart to Maj. Gen. Greene. 

Williamsburgh January 29*\ 1779. 
My Dear General, 

I had the pleasure of addressing you from Fred- 
ericksburg which hope you received safe, in [which] 
I mentioned my apprehensions for the army on account 
of provisions ; the farther we travel Soutli the greater 
we find the distresses of the People for Corn and 
Bread : and every Article much higher in price ; I am 
Hap})y to find Congress have or[deredJ so large a Sum 
to be in Taxation this [year]. That and calling 

in the two emissions of I am in hopes wall at 

least give a check to this rapid depreciation which has 
unfortunately taken place all over the Continent. 

The affair between Mr Deane and the Lees has oc- 
casicmed nmch conversation in this Country, [we] found 
the People as low dow^n as Fredericksbui'gh possess'd 
with very Just Ideas of those men and tlieii* Colleagues 
in Congress ; but Richard Henry with a few Adherents 
have been veiy busy between that place and Williams- 
l)urgh, the People heard but one Stoiy, and were from 
their Old Attachments to the Lee family willing to be- 
lieve it, however Col. Ball and MyseK have been equally 
Industrious in placing things in a proper light, and I flat- 
ter myself the day is. not fai' distant when the Junto 


will receive a Severe Shock by being depriv'd of one 
of the most Artful, designing and VVicked men the 
Country stands Curs'd with ; 1 mean Richard Heniy, 
It is amazing to hear of his Artifice in this State to suf)- 
port a Popular Character, but the Peoples eyes are now 
Oj)en'd and I doubt whether his Oratoiy <fe Wee]>ing, 
will again bring Tears and Lamentations (as Usual) 
for his sufferings fi'oni the Assembly ; they have ever 
been Infatuatea when held forth to them, for whatever 
he said they were sure to ])elieve. 

He has been very Industrious to make the Inhabi- 
tants of this Country Imagine that General Lee was tlie 
Salvation of our Army at Monmouth ; No Circumstance 
has ever pleas'd me so much as my having been under 
his command that day, I have an opportunity of con- 
tradicting that Assertion with propriety ; as I can safe- 
ly declare it an Infamous falsehood, they had likewise 
heard he had been in the heat of the Action, and that 
he suj)ported it for a length of time until the command 
was taken from him by his Excellency ; this every offi- 
cer who was in the field that day knows to be false, 
and that he never intended to fight is equally clear to 
me by his asking Gen. Wayne, Why he had his men 
drawn up in front of the !finemy's Artillery and Cav- 
alry ? I am sorry to trou))le you so much on this sub- 
ject, but it is one which nearly concerns the Army and 
the Continent in General. It shocks me to find those 
men have even an advocate when those advocates know 
them oppos'd to the Interest of our Worthy General. 

Williamsburgh I find to be the most Unsociable and 
least Polite place I have been in, in Virii:inia; but the 
Governor is so meer and pavs so little attention 

to the officers of the [Army] that t don't Wonder Peo- 
ple who are naturally Inclin'd to, should follow his 
Example. We have been here two days, and only 
remain to dine with Old Ennis and a Mr. Tazewell, 
wliom I came particularly recommended to. I find the 
old Continentals stick together wherever we meet — it 
makes me hapi)y to see it the case. 


Poor Ball has not been so successful and he could 
have wish'd. Old M" Taylor unfortunately heard 

had suffered a little last Campaign in Wars 

of Venus ; this and his having a son to distress 

her so much, that she has persuaded her daughter to 
cast him off ; I am happy to inform you it has not en- 
tirely broken his Heart. 

We set off tomorrow for James River, and shall 
push as Expeditiously as possible to Petersburg!!, from 
thence to Fredericksburgh and hope to reach the Army 
early in April. 

I beg my respectful Compliments to Mrs. Greene, 
his Excellency, and all friends in Camp. You would 
be mightily pleas'd with the General's mother who is 
really a sweet Old Lady. I am Just Inform'd a vessell 
is Arriv'd at York loaded with 200 Hhds. Sugar, 200 
Rum and a rich Cargoe of other Articles to the address 
of Mr. Deane. I am my D"" Genl. your affect® friend 

W. Stewart 

The Honourable Major General Greene 

Quarter Master General to ye American Army, 
at Head Quarters New Jersey. 

Eiulorsed "from Col. Walter Stewart 29th January 1779. No. 11. Bat- 
tle of Monmoutli Intrigue of R. II. Lee against (Jen W." 

Fkom William Henry Drayton. 

Philadelphia, Feb. 3d, 1779. 

My colleague, Mr. Ilutson, hath this day mentioned 
to me, a conversation you had with him, in which you 
expressed yourself as injured by a misrepresentation of 
your conduct immediately preceding your captivity by 
the enemy, in a charge I had the honour to deliver, as 
Chief Justice, to the Grand Juiy of Charlestown, South 

Vol. hi.— 23 


I must inform you, Sir, that, on the one hand, I have 
been repeatedly assured the representation I then made 
was a true one ; and that, on the other hand, I Iiave 
also been assured, that it was not founded on fact ; 
and that, immediately upon this latter assurance in 
South Carolina, I took that step which was most likely 
to lead me to a certainty on the subject, with the 
avowed design, that if 1, had injured your reputation, 
I might be enabled to make the most ample repaiatiou ; 
but I did not receive the necessary materials. Those 
sentiments of propriety which dictated the first advance 
on my part then, to acquire them, now dictate a like 
conduct when another opportunity seems to open itself 
for my arriving at truth, and to do that justice which 
the case may require. And I do assure you, that if I can 
be enabled to declare, that you did not violate the 
orders of the commander in chief, respecting your junc- 
tion with him, when he had retreated to the Delaware 
in 1776, I shall not only do so in the most pointed 
terms, but beg your pardon for having through error 
and misi'epresentation, published the contrary. 

To this purpose I wi'ote to Major Eustace on the Gth 
of January 1778, when I was in Charlestown, and had 
no prosj)ect of coming to this part of the Continent ; 
and a copy of the correspondence between him and 
myself on the occasion I will lay before you, if you 
desire to see it. 

Those principles of honour which must make you 
feel an injury, make me feel even an idea of having 
done an injury, and impels me to make a reparation 
where it is due. 

I am sir, 

Your most obedient Servant, 

Wm. Henry Drayton. 

Yajor Gen. Lee. 


To William Henry Drayton. 

Pliiladelphia, Feb. 5th, 1779. 

I should have done myself the honour of answering 
your letter yesterday, but was prevented by a variety 
of business. If I have violated any orders of the com- 
mander in chief, to him, and the Congress only, am I re- 
sponsible ; but certainly am not amenable to the tribunal 
of Mr. William Henry Drayton. I shall therefore 
remain entirely indifferent whether you are pleased to 
think or dream that I designedly threw myself into the 
hands of the enemy, or whether I was not taken by a 
concurrence of unfortunate circumstances such as hap- 
pen in the course of all wars. The only remark I shall 
make on your extraordinary requisition, that I should 
clear myself on this point to you simply, Mr. William 
Henry Drayton, whom I consider but as a mere com- 
mon member of Congress, is, that you pay a very ill 
compliment to the General. You must suppose him 
either miserably deficient in understanding, or in integ- 
rity as a servant of the public, when you suppose that 
he would suffer a man, for a single day, to act as his 
second in command, whom he knows to be guilty of 
such abominable military treason. This ingenious sup- 
position, therefore, is, in my opinion, a greater affront 
to the General than to myself. 

I am sincerely concerned that my friend Eustace 
should have degraded himself so far as to enter into 
any discussion of this matter with Mr. William Heniy 
Drayton; and I shall reprimand him for not under- 
standing his own dignity better. I shall now only 
take the trouble of adding, that if you can reconcile 
your conduct in stepping out of the road, (as I am in- 
formed you did in your charge to the grand jury,) to 
aggravate the calamities of an unhappy man, who had 
sacrificed every thing to the cause of your country, and 
as he then conceived, to the rights of mankind ; who 


had sacrificed an ample, at least an easy and independ- 
ent fortune, the most lionorable connections, great mili- 
tary pretensions, his friends and relations: I say, if 
you can reconcile your stepping out of the road to ag- 
gravate the calamities of a man wlio had notoriously 
made these sacrifices, and who, at the very time you 
was displaying your generous eloquence, had no less 
than five centinels on his jxirson, and was suffering 
extremely in body and mind — If you can, I repeat, 
reconcile such a procedure to common humanity, com- 
mon sense, or common decency, you must still be a 
more singular personage than the public at present 
consider you. 

I am. Sir 

Your most obedient. 

Humble Servant, 

CiiAKLEs Lee. 
William Henry Drayton, Esq. 

From William Henry Drayton. 

Philadelphia, Feb. 8th, 1779. 

At nine o'clock last night, I received yours of the 
fifth instant, in answer to mine of the third. But, as 
I have neither time or inclination to enter into a com- 
petition, whether Mr. Charles Lee, or Mr. William 
Henry Drayton, can raise the most ingenious supj)osi- 
tion, say the keenest thing, and pen the most finished 
period with parenthesis; nor ambition to correspond 
with you in your simple character of Mr. Charles Lee, 
whom I cannot consider but as legally disgraced for 
being guilty of abominable military treason against a 
community of the most liberal, just, and generous, and, 
I must add, merciful peo])le on the face of the globe : 
I say, perfectly satisfied with my simple character of 
Mr William Henry Drayton, " a mere common member 


of Congress," and " a mere Chief Justice of South 
Carolina," I shall do myself the honour, out of breath 
as I am with parentheses, to make only one observa- 
tion in reply, absolutely terminating the correspond- 
ence on my part, that I verily believe we equally 
remain entirely indifferent with respect to what either 
is " pleased to think or dream." And now, finally 
taking my leave of Mr. Charles Lee, with common 
decency from respect to my simple character, 
I subscribe myself. Sir, 

Your most obedient Servant, 

Wm. Hexry Drayton. 
Major Gen. Charles Lee. 

Extract from Rivington's New York Royal 
Gazette of tile 17th Feb^. [1779]. 

[This article was reprinted in the PiRnnsyhania Fctcketj March 6, 1779, 
with the f oUowing introduction : 

" Philadelphia, February 26. 
"Mr. Dunlap, Sir, 

** Be ])leased to give the following extract from a New- York Gazette of 
the 17^b instant, a place in your useful and I hope, impartial paper. 
While it breathes a spirit of candor and liberality of sentiment towards 
injured merit, it may serve to convince the discerning public, that those 
men in this city, who are now laboriously exerting their small talents to 
degrade the most meritorious servants of this country, are putting two- 
edged swords into the hands of the ** Common enemy,*- that may, in the 
sequel, cut in sunder the nerve of liberty, I am, Sir, 

" Your constant reader, &c. 

A Grateful American.''] 

The Eminent Services performed for the Rebel Con- 
gress by Major General Ai*nolcl, an officer more distin- 
guished for valour & Perseverance than any Comman- 
der in their Service, are in a fair way of being requited 
in Terms similar to those of Major General Lee, whose 
Arrangements and Counsel in several critical situations 
had rescued their Commander in Chief with his whole 
Army from impending Destruction; The Executive 
Council of Pennsylvania having on the 3rd Instant 


puV)lished Articles of Impeachment for illegal and 
opj)rertsive Conduct against Mr. Ai'nold, ordenng liini 
to be prosecuted l)y their Attorney : Major M. Clark- 
son, Aid de Camp to the accused, has pul)lished au 
address desirinjj a Suspension of the puldic opinion, 
declaring that tne Charges brought agamst him by the 
Council shall be refuted when the Prosecution is 
brought forward, and the irUtory of the (jvoumh and 
rise of the whole transac^tion faithfully and impartially 
laid ])efore the Pu])lic. General Arnold heretofore had 
been stiled another Hannibal, ])ut losin^j a Leg in the 
Service of the Congress, the latter considering hin) un- 
fit for any further Exercise of his military Talents, 
permit him thus to fall into the unmerciful fangs of the 
Executive Council of Pennsylvania — M^ Joseph Keed, 


In Congress Feb^^ 22. 1779. 
Ordered That the president forward to Major Gen^ 
Lee the letters directed to him and inform him that 
Congress have no dimbt but he will explain the trans- 
action therein mentionecL 

Extract from the Minutes. 

[CuARLEs Thomson, 


Knihtrsed in Grneral Ij€€^8 aut<Kjraph : Polly Morris at Mrs. Thompsons 
in Sugar Alley. 

Draft — to the President of Congress. 

Philadelphia, Febr}^ y« 2Gth, [1 770.] 

I find by a note from Mr. Secretary Thomson that 
Congress desire I wou'd explain the history of the 


letters from General Leslie and Capt. Totty anJ the 
bills — it is this Sir — some weeks 1 received a letter 
from his Excellency General Washington with one in- 
closVl from Colonel Butler — entreating me to meet him 
on the lines at Elizabeth Town Point that I might 
settle some affairs relating to our private affairs before 
he sailVl for England — You must know Sir, that 
Colonel Butler is the most intimate friend I have in 
the world, tiiat We were bred up together from eight 
years old — it was He who furnish'd me with no small 
sum for my expenses at N. York, it was with him I 
liv'd — with General Washington's leave I set out in 
hopes of meeting my Friend — and fi'om Elizabeth 
Town supposing liim still at N. York I wrote an opeu 
letter thro the liands of Gen. Maxwell desiring him to 
l)ring me a ]>ound or two of Tea a new hat and three 
hundred pounds in mone}'^ — in answer to this letter I 
receivM a very civil note from General Leslie informing 
me of Butler's departure but that with S'r Henry Clin- 
tons consent He wou'd endeavour to procure me the 
money if I wou'd draw the l)ills and send 'em in which 
I accordingly did by Cohmel Baylor and likewise 
wrote a letter of thanks to General Leslie which I read 
to General Maxwell but I should not have taken this 
step had I not some time liefore consulted M^ Morris 
then meinl)er of Congress and I believe but am not 
sure some other membei*s with respect to the propriety 
of the measure — who assur'd me that there was no im- 
proj)riety in it — this, Sir, is the whole histoiy — tliis 
Capt. Totty is a Cousin Germain of Colonel Butler's 
and likewise a very intimate Friend of mine, and I 
perceive He has taken the affair into his hands to 
serve me. 


To THE President of Congress. 

Philadelphia, [February 26th, 1779.] 

I find by a note from Mr Secretary Thompson 
that Congress are desirous of my explaining the 
history of the letters from General Leslie and Captain 
Totty with the bills — the history is this — some weeks 
ago 1 received a letter from General Washington with 
another inclos'd from Colonel Butler, entreatmg me to 
meet him on the lines at Elizabeth Town Point that I 
might settle some private aifairs and money transac- 
tions, before He set sail for England. — You must know, 
Sir, that Colonel Butler is the most dear and intimate 
Friend I have in the world. We were from eight years 
of age bred up together — it was He who furnished me 
with no small sum, not less than eleven hundred Gui- 
neas for my expences during my captivity at New York 
and it was with him that I liv'd after I was enlarged 
on my parole — With His Excellency General Washing- 
ton's leave, I therefore set out in hopes of meeting my 
Friend — and from Elizabeth Town supposing him still 
at New York, I wrote to him an open letter through 
the hands of General Maxwell requesting him to bring 
me out a pound of Tea, a new hat and three hundred 
pounds in money — in answer to this letter I received a 
very civil note from General Leslie informing me of 
Butler's departure, but that with Sir Henry Clinton's 
consent, he wou'd endeavour to procure the money for 
me, if I would draw the bills and send 'em in, which I 
accordingly did by Colonel Bayler and at the same 
time wrote a letter of thanks to General Leslie which 
General Maxw^ell read — but I shou'd not have taken 
this step, had I not some time before consulted Mr 
Morris then a Member of Congress and I believe one or 
two other mem])ers on the propriety or impropriety of 
my endeavouring to draw money on England if I cou'd 
procure Sir Henry Clinton's consent — and I had great 


lio])es of obtaining it, as I knew him to be a most polite 
and obliging man — as He undoubtedly is — Mr Morris 
and I tbmk but am not sure, some other Gentlemen of 
Congress assured me there cou'd not be the least impro- 
priety in the measure. Capt Totty is a cousin Germain 
of Colonel Butler and likewise a very intimate friend 
of mine and I perceive has taken the affair into his hands 
in order to serve me — this, Sir, is the full and true his- 
tory of these letters and of these bills — and I hope that 
Congress will find no impropriety in giving me leave to 
answer Capt Totty's friendly letter, and to avail myself 
of his kind offer, as I much want some hard money to 
purchase two or three Negroes, without whom my farm 
IS rather an encumbrance than the means of subsist- 

I am. Sir, with tlie greatest respect. 
Your most obedt humble 8ervt. 

Charles Lee. 

As Capt Totty will probably not be long at York I 
entreat Congress will favor me with a speedy deter- 

To THE President of Congress. 

Philadelphia Febr^ ye 27^*^ 1779. 

The negative put by Congress, on my request to 
avail myself of Capt: Totty's friendship and Sir Henry 
Clinton s kindness throws me into the most serious dis- 
tress — When I wrote from Elizabeth Town to Colonel 
Butler on this subject, supposing him to be at N. 
York, I had reason to believe that the only difficulty I 
should have to com])at with wou'd arise from Sir Henry 

[* Congress resolved by vote of 26th February, 1779, that the explana- 
tion in this letter "is satisfactory '' : but accompanied it with the further 
declaration that they disapproved of his negotiating his bills in New 
York. J 


Clinton, not from Gongi-ess, as I cou'd have no notion 
tliat the drawing hard money from New York eoul<l be 
prejudicial to this Continent indeed the greater the 
portion of my property I could procure the greater I 
thought, wou'd be the advantage to America who are 
bound by their Representatives in Congress to indein- 
nif\' me for my fortune according to the estimate I 
gave in (which is several thousand pounds less than 
what it at present really is) shouVl it be confiscated — in 
this idea instead of three hundred pounds, I shou'd have 
drawn for three thousands if I had thought there had 
been any chance of obtainins: it — this was likewise the 
idea of Mr Morris and I thmk one or two more Mem- 
bers of Congress to whom I mentioned my intention — 
and I confess I was agreeably surprized when General 
Leslie infoimed me bv a note that Sir H. Clinton con- 
sented to it, particularly as I remember when I was 
Prisoner at N. York, I was not suifer'd to send out £50 
to an Aid-deCamp of mine who happened at that time 
to be in great necessity, — but he this as it may, I 
thought that if I cou'd obtain this sum or a greater, I, 
at least, cou'd not disserve the Continent and certainly- 
very essentially serve myself — I did it in the opeuest 
manner, the ])ills were drawn in the presence of Gene- 
ral Maxwell and the letter accompanying these l)ills 
read hy that Gentleman — as my distress is therefore, 
very serious from the want of means to furnish my 
farm I once more, entreat Congress to grant me this 
indulgence but if they possibly cannot consent consist- 
ently with any rules They may have laid down, that 
They will advance me that sum in hard money and 
make me an accountant for it to he repay'd in the same 
species at a future day — for to confess the truth, if I 
am j)ut under the necessity of purchasing the necessaiy 
hands for my farm, at this instant in Continental money 
as it at present goes which I am confident must be 
good in the end, I shou'd be rninVl, and on the other 
hand, without the necessary hands, as I observed be- 
fore, I have no means of subsistence. I hope, on this 


occasion, there can be no impropriety in mentioning 
my circumstances. When from an ardent zeal for 
the rights of America and, as I thought, of man- 
kind, 1 embarked in this cause, I was possessed, if 
not of an ample, at least of a very easy fortune 
for a private Gentleman — give me leave to enter 
into the detail of it. Istly, 1 had £480 per annum 
on a mortgage in Jamaica which was punctually 
paid — 2dly, an estate in Middlesex of £200 pr an- 
num for another person's life but which was insured 
against my own — 8dly one thousand pounds on, a coun- 
try turnpike secuiity at four per cent— 4thly — j£1500 at 
five per cent on bond — 5thly my half pay £136 pr an- 
num — besides this about twelve hundred pounds in my 
Agents and in different debts — in all my clear income 
besides this money at command was about nine hundred 
and forty pounds pr annum — I had likewise ten thou- 
sand acres of land m the Island of St. Johns which had 
been settled and located at the expence of seven or 
eight liundred pounds — a mandamus for twenty thou- 
sand more in East Florida and a claim as half pay field 
officer who had served the last War in America m any 
of the new lands either on the Ohio, Miss'sipi or West 
Florida — lastly, eight hundred ducats pr annum my 
table lodging and provisions for my horses as Aid de 
Camp General to his Majesty of Poland whenever I 
chose to reside in that Country — such was the fortune 
and income I staked on the die of American Liberty, 
and I played a losing game for I might lose all and had 
no prospect or wish to better it. What is my present 
situation ? — in the fii-st place, I was struck off the half- 
pay list — my Jamaica Mortgagee who is a creature of 
the Ministry has protested my bills — it is not certain 
whether my Agent has received any rents from the 
Middlesex estate — this is the reason I would not choose 
to draw upon him, unless my bills are endorsed as 
Capt Totty now at N York offers to do. He knows 
that he can be no sufferer as my sister who is rich will 
at any rate indemnify him — £1500 has, indeed, been 


remitted to tln« Country and put out to interest in S. 
Carolina but of interest of this, I have never yet received 
one farthing and if I was to receive it, at present, it 
wou'd be oi little or no value — So that in fact from 
near a thousand pounds a year clear income (an 
income which could not have been impaired had 
the tyrannical schemes of The Ministry succeeded so 
that my predicament is singular) from an income of near 
one thousand pounds a year from my zeal for this 
Country I am reduced to nothing at all, to absolute 
beggary — it is true the Congress advanced me a sum 
for the purchase of my farm — but unless T am fur- 
nished with the means of putting this farm in some or- 
der I had better or at least should be full as well with* 
out it — I therefore most earnestly intreat Congress 
either to permit me to draw this money from N York 
whilst it is in my power or to give me an order for 
that sum in hard money — tho' in my opinion, the for- 
mer wou'd be the more advantageous — and, if there is 
any objection from the precedent, I hope the great 
peculiarity of my case may obviate it. 

I am, Sir, with the greatest respect, 

Your most obedt humljle Servt. 

Charles Lee. 

From Benjamin Rush to Maj. Gen. Gates. 

Philad*. March 1-* 1779. 
Dear Sir 

T cannot omit embracing the favourable opportunity 
which now offers to Boston of acknowledging to you^ 
the continuance of my friendship for you, and your 
good family — The influence of a party drove me from 
public life. — I now live wholly for the benefit of an 
amiable wife, and two children, and of my patients. 
But from the vale into which I have descended I often 
look l)ack upon those illustrious republicans with 
whom I engaged in the present controversy with 


Great Britain. I see Lee & Mifflin separated from tlie 
throng that occupy the Summit of the mountain. — 
See ! my good friend how they beckon to you to retire 
into the back ground of the picture with them before you 
are thrust fi'om your rank and degraded in your charac- 
ter by the slander & persecutions which have ruined 
them. — You have conquered an army, and saved your 
country — The war is nearly over, so that you cannot 
retrieve your ill fortune, nor atone for your crimes by 
loosing a province, or wasting an Army liereafter — 
nothing but a resignation can save your reputation, or 
restore you again tothe favor of the Public. 

Mifflin and Lee (who are both at this time in Philad*.) 
join in much love to you, and best complt^ to Mrs 
Gates and Bob with my dear Sir your sincere old 
friend, and 

Hble Servant 

BENJ^ Rush. 

To William Henry Drayton. 

Philadelphia March y*^ 15'** 1779. 

As I have now settled all my affaii's, and as I am 
given to understand that you may probably soon set 
out for Carolina, I take the liberty of addressing this 
letter to you, which is to close our correspondence for 
ever — until very [lately] I was taught to consider you 
only as a fantastick pompous dramatis Personie, a mere 
Malvolio, never to be sjx^ke or thought of })ut for the 
sake of laughter, and when the humour for laughter 
subsided, never to be spoke or thought of more — but I 
find I was mistaken. 1 find that you are as malignant 
a Scoundrel as you are universally allow'd to be a ridi- 
culous and disgusting Coxcomb. You are pleas'd to say 
that I am legally disgrac'd — all I shall say in reply is, 
that I am able confidently to pronounce that every man 
of every rank in the whole Army who was present at 


the tiyal, every Man out of the Amiy, eveiy Man on 
the Continent who has read the proceedings of the 
Court Martial (perhaps indeed I might except M' Penn 
of North Carolina and Doctor Scudder of the Jerseys 
with a few others of about their size in understanding) 
is of opinion that the stigma is not on him on whom 
was pass'd but on those who pass'd this absurd iniqui- 
tous and preposterous sentence — for to be just, I do 
not believe you quite blockhead enough to think the 
cluirges liad a shadow of support — and if ever by some 
wonderf ull metamorphosis you shou'd become an honest 
man [you] will confess it— as to the continuation of 
this curious sentence, I do not conceive myself at liberty 
to make any comments on it, as it is an affair of Con- 
gress for which Body I ever had and ought to have a 
profound respect, I shall only lament that they are dis- 
;rac'd by so foul a Member as M' William Henry 
Drayton — You tell me the Americans are the most 
mei'cifull People on the face of the Earth. I think so 
too, and the strongest instance of it is that They did 
not long ago hang up you and every Advocate for the 
Stamp act, and do not flatter yourself that the present 
violent airs of Patriotism you give yourself, and your 
hard labourVl letters to the Commissioners and the 
King will ever wash away the stain — if you think the 
terms I make use of harsh or unmerited my Friend 
Major Edwards is commission'd to point out your 

Charles Lee. 

To Major General Horatio Gates. 

Philadelphia March y« 29'^ 1779. 
My Bear Gates, 

I shou'd in propriety have answer'd the last letter 
(indeed the only letter) I have receiv'd from you — but 
was prevented by imaginary busyness and a resolution 
when I did write to write to you in the most ample 


manner on a variety of subjects — concerning your inter- 
ests and my own — but as I had reason to believe 
one or two of your letters had been intercepted, I 
did not chuse to communicate my sentiments by the 
Common Post — I have waited therefore for some other 
means — and I should wait longer, but as I shall set out 
for Virginia in a few days ; as no other means do pre- 
sent themselves, and above all as there is such a visible 
revolution in the minds of men on certain subjects — I 
am determin'd to delay it no longer — by a revolution 
in the minds of men, I mean that our Great Gargantua, 
or Lama Babak (for I know not which Title is the 
proj)erest) begins to be no longer consider'd as an in- 
fallible Divinity — and that those who have been sacri- 
iic'd or near sacrific'd on his .altar, begin to be esteem'd 
as wantonly and foolishly offer'd up — so that in fact 
it matters not nmch (nay I cou'd almost wish that it 
shou'd happen) if what I now thi-ow upon Paper shou'd 
be read by all the Serjeants, Corporals Conmiittee Men 
and Waggoners betwixt this place and Boston. I shall 
begin by Confessing that I liv^e (and wish to live) on 

food terms with two men with whom you (my dearest 
riend) are at daggers drawn — Arnold, and Wilkinson 
— the former has been so cruelly wantonly and 1 think 
wickedly persecuted by the President of this abomina- 
ble State and a Banditti of ignorant obsequious mer 
cenary Clowns his Satellites call'd the Council of State, 
tliat altho' I am totally unacquainted with Mr. Arnold's 
merits or demerits I cou'd not help pitying him, and 
Pity, as you know, melts the Mind to Love — on this 
Principle, and on this princij)le only, I am Arnold's 
Friend and I perswade myself, not incompatibly, with 
the sincere love and regard I have for you — With re- 
spect to the latter, Wilkinson ; I really think tliat He 
has been a Man, more sinn'd against than sinning. I 
think (at least from all I have been aljle to gather) 
that he as well as your Honor, has been made a most 
egregious Dupe in the affair l)etwixt you — it is a dark, 
black piece of busyness and I have no doubt will one 


day he develop VI to the World. He was put on a 
wrong scent when he aiiu'd his pistol at your head, and 
when you aim'd at his — Alexander (pas le Grand, mais 
le Gros) and his Hephestion M^'Williams were the pro- 
per objects of your respective resentments — but of tliis 
more hereafter — Now quantum ad me attinet — You 
know how I have been persecuted and unjustly dealt 
wnth both by Bodies Corporate and Individuals — the 
latter 1 have the pleasure to assui'e you I have com- 
pleatly got the better of — some I have sham'd and 
otbei's put to flight — the Bodies Corporate begin (from 
many visible signs) to be quite asham'd themselves of 
the injustice done me — to sj)eak plain, the Members of 
the Congress are become extremely civil in their words 
and actions to the Man whom Xliey so lately affected 
to shun as the Plague — indeed I do not find that there 
is a single Member so devoid of grace as to insinuate 
that the charges brought against me had the shadow 
of support — two notorious Idiots perhaps excepted — 
one Penn of North Carolina, a l)roken Attorney, and a 
Scudder of the Jerseys, a gossiping pragmatical pres- 
byterian Doctor or Appothecary, to both which wor- 
thies I have given a very dowsing slap on the face in 
a letter, which I make no doubt you will soon see, 
addressed to the Divine W. H. Drayton — nunc ad te, 
et eas res quae ad te attinent — I hoj)e you are in earnest 
when you talk of resigning — You cannot serve with 
safety — a mine is imder your feet — the materials for 

f^our destiiiction are heap'd up and preparM, and the 
east error (such as are incident to humanity) blows 
you up — for my own part 1 wou'd have sent my com- 
mission to the Devil long ago, but was prevented by 
the advice of, I believe, the Devils eldest Brother, who 
had assum'd the form and really perswaded me that 
He was my warmest Friend — but no art, no artifice 
shall (you may depend upon it) prev^ail uj)on me to 
draw my sword again at least whilst Gargantua or 
Lama Babak is at the head of our Armies. 1 am sorry 
for the poor American Soldiers, who have certainly 


merit, virtue and courage — hut they must inevitably 
be beat or rather drown'd if They depend on such a 
bladder of emptiness and pride — nunc iterum ad me. 
Have you got my fine mare from Mr. Hastings ? If 
you have not, I beg you will, and send her up to our 
horses heaven by the first fair occasion. I beg Mi*s. 
Gates's pai-don, but I think you ought to send her up 
likewise — for I am told your farm from want of her 
superintendance is in a damnable condition — My love 
to her and Bol), who, upcm my soul is a fine Boy — a 
clap and a duel in the same year for one of his age 
indicate a ^reat Man. I send you (tho I suppose you 
have seen em) some strictures on the affair of Mon- 
mouth, or perhaps it might more properly be call'd a 
sup[)lement to my defence — the Soldiers here (Baron de 
Kalb in particular) are pleas'd to say it has meiit — 
read it, and give me your opinion — I have some queries 
political and military ready for the press, which are 
whacking ones, and which 1 believe will hurt Gargan- 
tua's digestion. Adieu — God bless you 

My Dr. Friend 

C. L. 

To THE Sa3IE. 

Philadelphia April ye 4*** 1779. 
My I)ii Gates, 

A Captain Taylor will deliver you this. He has 
suffer'd nuich in the cause (as He You and I thought) 
of liberty and the rights of Mankind, but whether We 
have not l)een dupes to this riij^hteous fanatacism be- 
gins with me to be a doubt — it is certain at least that 
ui this State a most odious Tyranny is establish'd — 
but be this as it may, his intentions were honest, and 
his sufferings have been great — He has been manacled, 
endungecm'd, and try VI for his life — I knew him when 
I was on my parole last Sj)ring in this place and I can 
assert that his zeal was unbounded — I therefore recom- 
VoL. III.— 21 


mend him most earnestly to your patronage and pro- 
tection — I entreat that you will do him every service 
in your power which Aciams and Lovell two staunch 
RepuV)licans and honest men (if I do not mistake 'em) 
assure me is considerable in that district which for 
your happiness is consigned to you — for from these 
middle States, libera !Nos, Domine — by the Middle 
States I mean Pensylvania and the Jerseys — which are 
inhabitated V)y the refuse of the Irish, the Descendants 
of the worst part of the Germans and by the first 
Hypocrites of the most hypocritical sects — stiff neck'd 
Presl)yterians, Quakers, New Light Men and the whole 
family of the Devil. They have the gasconade thievery 
and lying of the Irish — the stupidity avarice and sordid 
disposition of the lower Germans — to sum up the whole, 
Washington is their God, Joe Reed their Dictator, or 
rather Despotic Prince, and Roberdeau is a Saint 
amongst them — but damn 'em — let's talk no more 
about 'em. I have been amusing myself here in Writ- 
ing or rather throwing on paper sev ral crude Rey;erie^ 
which you shall one day see. My chief performance is 
a plan for the establishment of a Military Colony in 
some happy Climate of America, perhaps as wild, tho' 
not quite so j)oetical, as Hoi'ace's schemes for all the 
Romans to transplant themselves to the fortunate 
Islands, for the 'melioration of their morals I send you 
inclosVl the extract of a letter from a gentleman in S. 
Carolina wdiicli I request you will take care shall be 
})ublisli'd in the Boston Papers I am much pleas'd w^ith 
its appearance, as it prej)ares the road for my (as I 
told you in my last letter) whacking queries, which 
are to s])oil Gargantua's digestion — ^I'here is likewise 
a letter from Mr North to Mr Tudor respecting the 
recovery of my fine mare, which I beg when she is 
recovered you will take into your care and j)rotection 
and when you have a fair opportunity send up to oiu* 
iTimjv Tiapabl^uv or, in English, Horses Paradise — My 
love as usual to Mrs. Gates, Bob, and to that excellent 
Young man. Major Armstrong, whose Father the Geu- 


eral, I am soiTy to say it, I saw him the other night 
with a Mulatto Girl in the Streets. 

Yours, Dr Gates — 

Chakles Lee. 

A Sketch of a Plan for the Formation of a Mili- 
tary Colony. 

I will suppose the number to consist of ten thousand 
men, with their full proportion of officers of different 
ranks, and children. There shall be no distinction 
made in the distribution of lands, betwixt the general 
officers and colonels ; but as it appears that there should, 
for the sake of order, be some difference of property in 
the different classes of men, 1 would propose the follow- 
ing plan of distribution. — When the capital is once fixed, 
immediately round it by lot — Every colonel to have two 
thousand five hundred acres; every lieutenant colonel 
two thousand; major fifteen hundred; captain one 
thousand ; lieutenants and ensigns seven hundred each ; 
each Serjeant three hundred : every rank and file two 
hundred. Another circle drawn round it, containing 
the same number of acres, shall be in common, for the 
use of the whole community ; where cattle shall have 
the lil)erty of ranging beyond this circle. Anotlier 
shall be drawn, of an equal number of acres, with the 
same proportion of acres for every member of the com- 
munity. So that every colonel will, in fact, l)e master 
of five thousand acres, every lieutenant-colonel of four, 
every major of three, every captain of two thousand, 
and every rank and file of four hundred ; one half with- 
in the capital precinct, and the other half in what I call 
the pomcerium of the State : the intermediate shall l>e 
allotted to the rearing of horses for the public service, 
and cattle, to form magazines for war. 

The lots in the pomoerium are intended for the chil- 
dren of the State, when they are of an age to settle and 
marry. As the colony is military, (as every colony 


ought to l»e, if they intend to ])e free,) a constant exer- 
cised militia shall he kept up, Imt by annual rotation : 
for which purpose, the fifth part of the men fit to V)ear 
arms, from seventeen to forty-five, sliall be embodied 
for two months of tlie year, tlieir manceuvres as simple 
as can be devised : but no substitutes are to be allowed, 
on any pretence, Imt al)Solute infirmity ; and even those 
who are not em}>odied, shall, in their certain district^, 
})e obliged to asseml>le every week, practise some sim- 
ple evolutions, such as marching in front, retreating and 
rallying by their colours, and all firing at marks. 

A standing small l)ody of horse, and of artillery, shall 
be constantly kept up at the public ex})ence, as these 
species of ti'oops are not to be fonned in an instant 
An agi'arian law sliall be j)assed, and rigidly observed, 
restraining absolutely every member of the community 
from possessing more than five thousand acres of laud, 
not only within the precincts of the community, but any 
where else. No member of the community, unless he 
comes into the world deformed, or too w^eak to undergo 
the manly labours, shall be suffered to exercise vsedeut- 
ary trades, such as taylors, barbers, shoemakers, w^eavei*?, 
&c. ike. These effeminate and vile occupations shall l>e 
allotted to women, to the w^eak, deformed, and to slaves. 
Agriculture, hunting, and war, to be the only professions 
of the men ; to which may be added, the trade of smiths, 
carpenters, and those which do not emasculate. 

But as there is reason to ajij>rehend, that a nation 
merely of warriors, hunters, and agriculturers, may 
l>ec()me extremely ferocious in tlieir manners, some 
method should be devised, of softening, or counteract- 
ing this consequential ferocity ; I know of none equally 
efficacious with a general cultivation and study of 
music and j)oetry ; on w*hich principle, I would propose, 
that music and j)()etry should be the great regimen of 
the tw o most important articles of government, religion 
and wai*; jill other good qualities might follow of 
course : for, without religion, no warlike community can 
exist ; and with religion, if it is pure and unsophisti- 


eated, all immoralities are incom})atil)le. Music and 
j)oetry, therefore, which ought to be iiiseparal>ly 
blended, are the grand pivots of a real, l)rave, active, 
warlike and virtuous society. This doctrine I am con- 
scious may shock quakers, pui'itans, and rigid sectarists 
of every kind ; but I do not sj^eak to quakers, puritans, 
and rigid sectarists. At the first, and from the bottom 
of my heart, I detest and despise them. I speak to 
men and soldiers, who wnsh and are al)le to assert and 
defend the rights of humanity ; and, let me add, to vin- 
dicate the character of God Almighty, and real Christi- 
anity, which have been so long dishonoured by sectarists 
of every kind and complexion ; catholics, church of 
England men, presbyterians, and methodists. I could 
wnsh, therefore, that the community of soldiers (w^ho 
are to he all christians) should establish one common 
form of w^orship, with wdiich every member must acqui- 
esce, at least in attendance on divine w^orship, and the 
observation of tlie prescribed ceremonies ; but this so 
contrived as not to shock any man who has been bred 
up in any of the different sects. For wdiich reason, let 
all expositions of the scripture, and all dogmas, be for 
ever banished. Let it be sufficient that he acknowl- 
edges the existence, providence, and goodness of God 
Almighty ; that he reverences Jesus Christ : but let the 
question never be asked, whether he considers Jesus 
Christ as only a divine person, coimnissioned by God 
for divine purposes, as tlie son of God, or as God him- 
self. These sophistical subtleties only lead to a doubt 
of the whole ; let it be sufficient therefore that he V)e- 
lieves in God, in his providence, and in tlie mediation 
of Jesus Christ, whether a real God, or only a divinely 
inspired mortal ; for which reason, to prev^ent the im- 
pertinence and ill conse(j[uences of dogmatising, no pro- 
fessional priests of any sort whatever shall be admitted 
in the community. But still I am of opinion, that a 
sacred order, or hierarchy, should be estal)lished, and 
in the following manner : that this hierarchy are not 
to be expositors of the divine law, which ought to be 


understood by every mem})er of common capacity ; but 
as the servitors, or administrators of the solemn cere- 
monies to l)e observed in the worship of the Supreme 
Being, of his Son, or missionary. 

The grand hierophant, pontifex maximus, or supreme 
servitor of the ceremonies of divine worsliip, is to be 
chosen out of the community, and to be not under the 
age of fifty ; the principal qualification requisite in him, 
to be sanctity of mannei*s, a reverend aspect, but, above 
all, a distinct and melodious voice. A body, or rather 
chorus of under priests, is to be selected likewise, for 
their integrity of manners, and skill in music ; for as 
all dogmas, and of course all expositions, are banished, 
superior learning, or what is impr()])erly understood to 
be learning amongst the theologians of the modern 
w^orld, will be so far from a (jualification, that it will 
rather be a disqualification, particularly as the cere- 
monies are to consist in poetical hymns of praise and 
thanksgiving, set to music ; such for instance as Pope's 
Universal Prayer, part of the Common Prayer, and 
many pieces selected from the Psalms of David ; for 
these long prayers with which all the churches of the 
different sects are infested, entering into such minute 
details with God Almighty, as if he was your factor in 
a foreign country, have been justly deemed by many 
wise men, not only tiresome, but impious im pertinencies. 

Ablutions, such as are ])ractised in the religions of the 
East, seem to me to be really a divine institution. These 
Easterns wisely say, that a pui-e soul cannot inhalnt a 
filthy body ; that a purified body is the best symbol of 
a clean spirit ; that it is indecent and wicked to present 
yourself before your Creator in a dirtier condition than 
you ought to appear in before an earthly superior. Ad- 
mitting these figures to l)e hyperbolical, the institution 
certainly is extremely wise, as it contributes so essen- 
tially to health, and the agreements of society. Baths, 
or little fountains, at least such as are in use amongst 
the Turks, to be established near the temples of wor- 
ship ; and every communicant to wash his hands, face, 


feet and teeth, before he enters the sacred abode. The 
temples to be as magnificent as the circumstances of the 
society will admit. A grand religious concert of thanks- 
givings to be performed every Sunday ; and two other 
clays in the week, we will suppose luesdays and Fri- 
days, but shorter, and with less pomp ; for there is noth- 
ing so impolitic, as to make pomp and ceremony too 
frequent — they entirely lose their effect. The thanks- 
giA'^ings or hymns, therefore, on these common days, to 
be extremely short, but sensible and energetic: long 
prayers, such as the morning service of the church of 
England, with the addition of a long unmeaning sermon, 
hummed through the nose perhaps of a crop-sick parson, 
who can scarcely read his own writing, or the still more 
insufferable cant of the puritan preachers, must be the 
bane of all religion ; and I verily believe there is scarcely 
any one person, if they had the honesty to confess it, 
man, woman or child, who would not rather suffer con- 
siderable inconv^enience than go either to a church, or a 
presbyterian meeting-house. In short, the ceremonies 
of divine worship must be made solemn, ponipcms and 
elevating — but we will quit the subject of religion, and 
pass to the law. 

As an Agrarian law is to be established, and rigidly 
observed, restraining every member of the community 
to the possession of five thousand acres ; and as the 
children of both sexes are to inherit an equal poi'ticm 
(for this is to be a fundamental maxim,) the most sim- 
ple code may be extracted, for civil cases, from the 
common laws of England, or from those of Denmark, 
which appear to be excellent. A ])r()fesi<ional lawyer 
therefore will be totally unnecessary ; indeed, I should 
as soon think of inoculating my commimity for the 
plague, as admitting one of these gentlemen to reside 
among us : all requisite knowledge of the law will be 
a common accomplishment of eveiy gentleman. The 
Romans, in the ages of their simplicity, virtue and 
glory, had certainly none ; the same men were their 
consuls, pontifices, generals, and j uris-consults. With 


respect to criminal matters, I would adopt Beccaria's 
scheme ; its excellencies have been demonstrated in the 
Tuscan dominions. When the present Grand Duke 
acceded to the ducal throne, he found Tuscany the most 
abandoned people of all Italy, filled with robbers and 
assassins. Every where, for a series of yeai*8 pi-evious 
to the government of this excellent prince, were seen 
gallows, wheels and tortures of every kind; and the 
robberies and murders were not at all less frequent. 
He had read and admired the Marquis of Beccaria, and 
determined to try the effects of his plan. He put a 
stop to all capital j)iinishments, even for the greatest 
crimes ; and the consequences have convinced the world 
of its wholesomeness. Tlie galleys, slavery for a certain 
term of years, or for life, in proportion to the crime, 
have accomplished what an army of hangmen, with their 
hooks, wheels and gibbets, could not. In short, Tus- 
cany, from being a theatre of the greatest crimes and 
villanies of every species, is become the safest and best 
ordered State of Euro|)e. 

It is a known fact, that since the adoption of this 
Ian, there have been but two murders committed : one 
)y a little boy of eleven years old, in a stroke of pas- 
sion ; and the other, not by a native Italian subject, but 
by an Irish officer. But if we had not this example, 
and that of the Empress Elizabeth, (who adopted the 
same ])lan, which had the same good effect) before our 
eyes, the inculcating an idea in a military people that 
death is the mostterril)le of all punishments, is certainly 
the njost absurd of solecisms. Nothing great can be 
expected from a community which is taught to consider 
it as such. On the contrary, death ought, as far as hu- 
man nature will admit, to l)e made a matter of indiffer- 
ence ; or, if possible, (and I think it very possible,) of 

I have often laughed at the glaring contradiction in 
the j)roceedings, in this article, in the British armies, and 
others, in which I have served. I have seen twi) or three 
wretches who liad the misfortune to l)e detected maraud* 



ing, or attempting to desert, takeu out with aAvf iil form, 
encircled })y a multitude who had been guilty of, or 
had intended to have committed the same crimes, but 
happily had not been discovered ; the chaplain, in his 
canonicals, telling them how dreadful a thing it was for 
their souls to be divorced from their bodies, and to be 
ui'ged on to the tribunal of their Maker, with these 
horrid sins on their heads. A few hours afterwards, 
some desperate exf)edition ordered to be executed by the 
very men who had been present at tbe execution, who 
had committed, or had intended to commit, the very 
same horrid crimes : and the officer ap])ointed to com- 
mand the expedition, as usual, harangues the soldiers ; 
assures them that death is not a serious affair ; that, as 
all men must sooner or later die, it is of little moment 
when it happens. Thus it may be said, we blow hot 
and cold with the same breath. I am therefore al)so- 
lutely and totally against capital punishments, at least 
in our military community. Let the loss of liberty, and 
ignominy, be inculcated as the extreme of all punish- 
ments : common culprits therefore are, in proportion to 
the degree of their delinquency, to be condemned to 
slavery, for a longer or shorter term of years; to public 
works, such as repairing high ways, and j)ublic buildings, 
wath some ignominious distinction oi habit, denoting 
their condition. As to those who have been guilty of 
crimes of a very deep dye, such as wanton murder, j)er- 
jury, and the like, let them be nmtilated, their ears cut 
oif, their faces 8tamj)ed with the marks of infamy, and 
whi])ped out of the State. 

I pass now to trade. — ^The persuasion that extensive 
trade is the source of riches, strength, happiness and 
glory, is perhaps one of the greatest mistakes and mis- 
fortunes which modern societies labour under. Without 
doul)t certain cities, both of antitjuity and the present 
world, from their peculiar situation and circumstances, 
owed their existence entirely to their commerce ; such 
as Tyre, Venice, and Holland: l)ut I cannot conceive 
how a community of soldiers and agricultors, who have 


lands enough to cultivate, not only for their own sub- 
sistence, >)ut in a great measure for others, should have 
occasion for what is called great and extensive com- 
merce. I think, on the contrary, that it must emascu- 
late the body, narrow the mind, and in fact corrupt eveiy 
tnie republican and manly principle ; nay, I think it 
must destroy all sensibility for real j)leasure and hap- 
piness. Let any man of taste or sensibility associate 
only for a few months with conmiercial men, or reside 
in a commercial city, he will find their conversation dull, 
languid, and stupid ; their pleasures confined to gross 
eating and drinking ; their only idea of mirth, to the 
roarins: of some vile hoarse sino^er: and of wit, to the 
story-teller of the club, or some wretched j)unster, who 
lives on catches and crotchets. True music, elevating 
poetry, liberal history, and all polite literature ; a coiu- 
petent accpuiintance with these, is necessary for those 
who have any share of the legislature : I mean those who 
are immediately entrusted with the executive or judi- 
cial powers. It is absolutely re((ui8ite to qualify every 
man of a liberal communitv for social conversation. 
But although I object to professional merchants being 
permitted to reside in our gov^ernment, it is certain that 
some degree of conunerce or l)arter must be cairied on, 
or atrricultiire and hunting^ stand still, and of course 
idleness and all its attendant evils ensue. 

I would therefore propose, that on the frontiers of 
the State, at least once in the year, a great fair should 
be established, to which mercmants and pedlars of all 
sorts and nations should })e encouraged to resort. This 
fair to continue three weeks or a month. 


From Dr. Browne to Maj. General Gates. 

Philadelphia, Api'il 6^^ 1779. 
D^ GEN^ 

I reached this Place on Tliursday last after a most 
tedious, and fatiguing Journey, and delivered your Dis- 
patches the same Evening — they were read yesterday, 
and proper Respect will be paid them. G'. A. informs 
me two Expeditions will be undertaken this Campaign 
to the Westward, but not of sufficient Importance to 
render the Command acceptable to you ; He thinks the 
Eastern Departm^ including Providence etc. more desir- 
able. Gen\ Lee is moving to Virginia — He tells me he 
never stood higher in the opinion of Congress than at 
present ; I wish he may not be deceived. He lately 
w^rote \V. H. D. Esq. a most insulting Letter, clothing 
him wnth the epithets of low, dirty Kascal, <fec. l)ut these 
proving insufficient to awaken that Gentlemans Kesent- 
ment, Lee challenged him in form. Mr. D. took no 
notice of the challenge. The Assembly of this State 
have rescinded their Resolution of taking: the sense of 
the People at large relative to their Constitution in con- 
sequence of a Remonstrance signed by 15000 of its 
respectable Inhabitants. The Popular Ciy lately so 
much in favor of M'. S. D. is most woefully reversed, as 
he has not adduced the shadow of Proof m support of 
the many capital charges exhibited against the Lees ; 
they have risen in the estimation of the People in Pro- 
portion as he is detested — He is not to go to Eiu'oj)e in 
Quality of Aml)assador, ^^ome say he will not go at all. 
Gen*. Arnold is to be mairied on Thursday next — He 
has resigned the Command in this City. 

My own personal Concerns call me to Maryland — it 
will not be m my Po\vcr to return as soon as I designed 
— an aged Relation being at the Point of Death. 

I am d"". Sr. Your most Obed. Sei'v. 

My Compliments <fe respects to M". cfe Mr. Gates. 


Mr. Holker informs that the French have been suc- 
cessful in the West Indies in capturing three Frigates 
of tlie British, <fe othei'w^ise much distressing their Trade 
— that Mons'. Picket somebody — I do not recollect the 
name, had taken some British Transpoi'ts with five 
Hundred lieirnlars, and 1200 Sailors, on their way to 
Gibralter or Minorca. 

Endorsed— Fwm Doct'. Browne, Phil*. April 6«^ 1779. 

Fkom Captain Thomas Totty. 

New-York, April 8'*^ 1779. 
My Dear Sir 

I have at last negotiated your drafts at 7^ p' Cent 
discount, & lodged [the] Cash with Mr. Pintard, agree- 
al)le to the [enclosed] Receipt — when I received your 
Drafts [Butler's] were exchanged at 15. p' C* discount; 
and that is the reason why 1 liave been so long in set- 
tling this Business — I hope you will have suffered no in- 
convenience from the delay, I thought you would rather 
wait a few weeks for the Cash, than pay the exorbitant 
premiums of 15 p"" Cent — 

I am just setting off for Rhode Island : Admiral 
Gambier has given me Post into the Flora. 

I have not heard from Butler since he sailed fi-om 

I have forwarded your good wishes to our friends in 
Wales by the Ardent ; They will be happy to hear that 
you are well. I remain 

My Dear Sir, with great Regard 
Affectionately Y<jur8 

Tho* Torn:. 
To Major Genl. Lee, in Phil* 


To THE President of Congress. 

Philadelphia, April ye 13'^ 1770. 

In a long scurriloua libel against me which has, this 
morning, made its aj)])earance, there is only one para- 
graph which can possibly give me uneasiness; of the 
rest I would rather be the subject than the author. 
The paragraph I allude to, Sir, is that respecting Gen : 
Moutrie's having defended Fort Sullivan against my 
judgment — This assertion throws me into the ci-uel al- 
ternative of either silently sitting down under a charge 
which may make an impression in the minds of the 
People unfavourable to my conduct and capacity or l)y 
justifying myself on these two points, expose to the 
world, at this critical juncture, a very dangerous truth 
with respect to that Post which has been held up as of 
such infinite importance — if Congress will condescend 
to a})point a Committee to hear what I have to say on 
this subject, I have no doubt of making my opinion and 
conduct appear well founded and satisfactory — but, if 
they think it descending from their dignity to make any 
inquiry in consequence of only what a scoundrel libel- 
list such as this Brackenridge has thrown out, I entreat 
most earnestly that they will order to l)e republished 
the letter of thanks which they honored me with on the 
occasion but which ever measure They chuse to adopt, 
I earnestly request it may be immediately, as my affairs 
in Virginia are exceedingly distracted hj my al)sence. 
I am. Sir, with the greatest respect. 

Your most ol)edt and devoted 

humble Servt, 

Charles Lek. 

His Excellency John Jay Esq' 

President of Congress. 

ICiuh/rsed — A letter from Major Gen : Charles Lee. April 13. 17T9. Read 
the same dav. 


Drai<t of Queries, Etc. 

Kemo (h nobis nnus excellat sed si quis extiterit alio 
in loco^ at que apud alios sit 


I am much pleas'd that the mode of putting queries 
is introduc'd into vour papers, as it is a manner of pre- 
senting truth to tne Public which does not require the 
art of a professional Writer, no dictionary weaving is 
necessary, and at the same time it admits of the most 
substantial matter and convincing truths — You will 
therefoi*e much oblige me by giving place in your papei-s 
to the following : 

1^* Whether the Armies under Gates and Arnold, 
and the detachment under Stark to the Northward, or 
that immediately under his Excellency General Wash- 
ington in Pensylvania gave the decisive turn to the for- 
tune of the War ? 

3rdiy Wjjether when Mons'r Gerard and Don Juan de 
Moreis sent those magnificent pictures to their respec- 
tive Courts of his Excellency General Washington 
drawn at full length by M' Peal, there wou'd have been 
any impropriety in sending at the same time at least a 
couple of little Heads of Gates and Arnold, by M"" de 
Cimetiere ? 

3^^'y, Whether thetryal of General S' Clair of which 
Court Martial General Lincoln was President, and that 
on General Lee were conducted in the same forms and 
on the same principles — whether in the former all hear- 
say evidence was not absolutely rejected, and in the 
latter hearsay evidence did not constitute a very con- 
siderable part ? 

4thiy \Yiigt}^gr jf i\yQ Generals Schuylei* and S* Clair 

had been try'd by the same Court Martial as General 
Lee was, and instead of Congress Gen. Washington had 
been the prosecutor, these Gentlemen (unexceptional )le 
as their conduct was) wou'd not have stood a very ugly 


chance of being condemn'd ? And whether if instead 
of General Washington Congress had been the Prose- 
cutor, General Lee wouVl not probably have been 
acquitted with the highest honor ? 

5thiy ^Vhether it must not appear to every man who 
has read General Washington's letter to Congi-ess on 
the affair of Monmouth and the proceedings of the 
Court Martial by which General Lee w^as try d, that if 
tlie contents of the former are facts not only General 
Lee's defence must be a tissue of the most abominable 
audacious lies, but that tlie whole string of evidences, 
both on the part of the prosecution and Pi'osecuted 
must be guilty of rank perjury, as the testimony these 
Gentlemen near in number have deliver'd on 

oath, scarcely in one circumstance coincide with the de- 
tail given in his Excellency's letter ? 

Draft of Queries, etc. 

Nemo d€ nobis unus excellaty sed^ si quis extit^rit alio 
ill locoj atque apud alios sit. 


I am extremely pleas'd that the mode of putting 
queries is introduc'd into your papers, as it is a manner 
of i)resenting truth to the Public which does not require 
the art of a professional Writer or what is properly 
call'd dictionary weaving and at the same time admits 
of the most substantial matter and convincing trutli ; 
you will therefore infinitely oblige me by giving j)lace 
m your Advertiser to the following : 

1*^ Whether it is salutary or dangerous, consistent 
with, or abhorrent from the true principles of lil>erty 
and republicanism to inculcate ana encourage an idea 
ill the People that their safety welfare ana glory de- 
pend on one man ? Whether such a doctrine is not in 
fact a libel on the Community at large ? Whether 



liV^erty ^vliich is held by so frail a tenure ought to be 
callM liberty ? And whether there is a single man on 
the Continent possessed of common sense and has not 
some scheme of lucre or ambition in view, who will 
dare to hold such j^reposterous language ? 

2'Uy Whether, amongst the late warm or rather loyal 
addressers to his Excellency General Washington in 
this City there was a single mortal one Gentleman ex- 
cepted, who cou'd possibly be acquainted with his 
merits, at least his military merits ? and whether this 
Gentleman excepted does seriously think him a great 
man ? * 

^niiy Whether the Army under Gates and Arnold 
and the detachment under Stark to the Northward, or 
that immediately under the command of his Excellency 
in Penns\-lvania gave the decisive turn to the fortune 
of the War ? 

^.thiy Whether, when Mons' Gerard and Don Juan de 
Morrelles sent those magnificent pictures of his Excel- 
lency General Washington at full length by jVP Peal, 
there wou'd have been any impropriety in sending over 
at the same time to their respective Courts, at least tfco 
little heads of Gates and Arnold by M"" de Ciemetiere? 

5thiy Whether the Court Martial by which General 
S^ Clair was tryVl and of which General Lincoln was 
President, and that by which General Lee was try'd, 
were conducted in the same forms and on the same 
principles ? Whether in the former, all hearsay evi- 
dence was not totally and absolutely rejected, and in 
the latter, not only hearsay evidence constituted a con- 

NoTE * Tlie author of these queries docs not mean to dispute? General 
Wiishinjjjton's Abilities or Virtues, but wlien he expresses a certaiu indig- 
nation at the visil)le propensity in this State to deify a man, with whom 
they must be little or not at ftU acquainted, he flatters himself that he 
stands on true republican Ground — if General Washington had the head 
and \fn\\\t virtue of Timoleon such an excessive adulation as has been paid, 
hiui in this City wou'd bid fair for corrupting both. Upon the whole, it 
is nianifest that these sort of Addresses stink horribly of a disposition 
towards monarchical Government, and that a People who run into such 
l)lind ^ stupid a devotion of one Man, as not to suffer his infallibility to 
be suspected, cannot long remain free. 


sicleral)le part, but conversation subsequent to the action 
admitted and even ransack d for, altho such conversa- 
tion cou'd certainly neither tend to disprove established 
facts { 

(jthiy Whether, if the Generals Schuyler and S* Clair 
had been try'd by the same Court Martial as General 
Lee was, and instead of Congress General Washington 
had been the Prosecutor, these Gentlemen (unexcep- 
tionaWe as their conduct was) wou'd not have stood 
an ugly chance of being ccmdemn'd ? and Whether in- 
steaci of General Washington Congress had been the 
Prosecutor, there is not the strongest reason to believe 
that General Lee wou'd have been acquitted with the 
hio^hest honor ? 

^thiy Wh^^ther, it must not appear to every man who 
has read General Washington's letter to Congress on 
the affair of Monmouth and the proceedings of the 
Court Martial by which General Lee was tryM, that 
if the contents of the former are facts, not only Gene- 
ral Lee's defence must be a tissue of the most abomina- 
ble audacious lies, but that the wliole string of evi- 
dences both on the part of the Prosecution and of the 
prosecuted must hav^e been guilty of rank perjuiy, asv 
the testimonies these Gentlemen (about forty in num- 
ber) have delivered on oath, scarcely, iu one circum- 
stance coincide with the detail given in his Excellency's 
Letter ? 

oomi Whether our position at Valley Forge was not 
such, that if General Howe or afterwards General 
Clinton had been well informed of its circumstances 
defects and vices They might not at the head of ten or 
even of eight thousand have reduc'd the American 
Army to the same fatal necessity as the Americans did 
General Burgoyne ? 

2yth wiiether when our Ai*my had cross'd the North 
River and was encamped on White Plains, General Clin- 
ton might not by the most simple obvious manoeuvres 
possible on our side, have been prevented from sending 
imder our very noses so large a reinforcement to Rhode 
Vol. hi.— 22 


Island, whicli had it not >)een crossed by the accidents 
of weather might have prov'd fatal to General fcfullivan 
and his army 'i 

oythiy Whether all the losses sustain'd by the light 
Troops advanc'd to the Enemy's lines, from this Camp 
at White Plains, in Dragoons Horses, Foot and Wag- 
gon hoi'ses have been fairly given to the Congress or to 
the Public ? Whether They were not much greater 
than is generally suspect'd or known ? 

3Qthiy Whether it must not appear to every man who 
has read General Washington's letter to Congress on 
the affair of Monmouth and the proceedings of the 
Court Martial by which General Lee w^as try'd, that 
if the contents of the former are facts, not only Gen- 
eral Lee's defence nmst be a tissue of the most auda- 
cious and abominable lies, but that the whole string of 
evidences ; both on the part of the Prosecution and of 
the Prosecuted are guilty of rank perjuiy, as the testi- 
mony these Gentlemen have deliver'd on oath scarcely 
in one circumstance coincide with the detail given in 
his Excellency's letter ? 

[The following is on the other leaf of the same sheet — aU in General 
Lee's autograph.] 

Whether the Judge Advocate did not on the tryal 
of General Lee step out of the line of his office, by 
cross examining, endeavouring to puzzle the Prisoners 
evidences — Whether He altho no military Man was 
not almost the only man who put what he thought 
were the leading military questions — altho they w^ere 
such that a Corporals Wife ought to have been asham'd 
of 'em — And whether General Lee from a supposition 
that this mode of proceeding intirely arose from his 
ignorance and not the w ant of integrity, did not by a 
paper He had the candor to put into his hands attempt to 
direct him from such irregular proceedings — V>y point- 
ing out the proper military questions to save his (the 
Judge Advocate s) credit ? 



SENSIBLE American. 

Whether the Kings of France and Spain are not in 
their respective dominions and in their Colonies and de- 
pendencies despotick Princes ? 

Whether either of these Pnnces since their accession to 
the throne have substantially receded an inch from their 

f)rerogatives, or in other terms have given an inch of 
iberty to their subjects either in their immediate domin- 
ions or in their Colonies — 

3dly Whether it ought not to be supposed that those 
Princes who are truly actuated by a regard for the lib- 
erties of Mankind should not begin to convince us that 
They are in earnest by giving at least some degree of 
liberty to their own subjects ? 

Whether the Corsicans who were stripped of their 
liberties by France shou'd not be restored to 'em before 
We can be convinced that France has any regard for 
the liberties of America ? 

To William Goddard. 

Need wood, June 7^** [1779.] 
Dear Sir, 

As I am acquainted with your just w^ay of thinking, 
liberality and impartiality, and as I think the time is 
now arrived, when the People will bear truth, I enclose 
you some Queries, which I believ^e you have seen be- 
lore. If you are of opinion that they will be of use, I 
could wish you would insert 'em in your Paper, with 
the following introduction : 

Baltimare (the date you may put yourself) 

M". Goddard, 

The following Queries political & military, were 
sometime ago handed about Philadelphia. The import 


of some of 'em is so curious, that they may, perhaps, af- 
ford amusemeut, if not infonnation to your Readers. 
I am Sii*, your most obedient servant 

Now I think of it, I beg vou will consider me as a 
sul>scri>)er to your paper, and dii'ect one weekly inclosed 
to W. Wolford, at Shepherd's Town, Berkley County, 
Virginia. Is Col. Oswald Avith you ? If he is, I beg 
my love to him ; and be assured that I am 

Dear Sir, Yours most truly 

Charles Lek. 
To M'. Goddard. 

To the Same. 

Shephard's-Town, June 17, [1779] 
Dear Sir 

I understand my friend Col. Oswald is entered into 
Partnership with you. Without this consideration, I 
should have done your press all the service in my pow- 
er, as I have a verj^ particular regai'd for yourself per- 
sonally, but I have now a double motive. I have many 
papers which will be of service to you, and you may be 
assured, that to you alone, they shall be consigned. — I 
hope you will not think it improper to insert the 
Queries I enclosed. You have and ought to have the 
first reputation for impartiality as a Printer, on the Con- 

Adieu, Dear Sir, 

Charles Lee. 


Some Queries, Political and Military, Humbly Op- 

[Jfnryland Journal and Bdltimore Advert mr^ July 6. 1779.] 

Pennsylvania (Pliiladelj)liia) , 1779. 

1st Whether George the First did not, on his acces- 
sion to the throne of Great Britain, by making himself 
king of a party, instead of the whole nation, sow the 
seeds not only of the subversion of the lil)erties of the 
people, but of the ruin of the whole empire ? 

2d. Whether, by proscribing tliat class of men, to 
which his ministry were pleased to give the appella- 
tion of Tories, he did not, in the end, make them not 
only real tories, but even Jacobites ? 

8d. Whether the consequence of this distinction, 
now become real, was not two rebellions ; and whether 
the fruit of those rebellions, although defeated, were 
not septennial parliaments, a large standing army, an 
enormous additional weight and pecuniary influence 
thrown into the scale of the crown, which in a few 
years have borne down, not only the substance, but 
almost the fonn of liberty, all sense of patriotism, the 
morals of the people, and, in the end, overturned the 
mighty fal)ric of the British empire i 

4th. Whether the present men in power, in this state, 
do not tread exactly in the steps of this pernicious min- 
istry, by proscribing and disfranchising so large a pro- 
T)ortion of citizens as those men whom they find it tlieir 
interest to brand with the denomination of Tories ? 

5th. Whether liberty, to be durable, should not be 
constructed on as broaa a basis as possible ; and whether 
the same causes, in all ages, and in all countries, do not 
I)roduce the same effects i 

6th. Whether it is not natural and even justifiable, 
for that class of T)eople (let the pretext be ever so plau- 
sible) who have been stripped of their rights as men, 
by the hard hand of power, to wish for, and endeavour 
to bring about, by any mean? whatever, a revolution in 


that state, which they caunot but consider, as an usur- 
pation and tyranny ? 

7th. Whetlier a subject of Morocco is not, when we 
consider human nature, a hapi)ier mortal, than a dis- 
franchised citizen of Pennsylv^ania, as the former has 
the comfort of seeing all about him in the same pre- 
dicament with himseli ; the latter, the misery of being 
a slave in the specious bosom of liberty ? The former 
drinks the cup, but the latter alone can taste the bitter- 
ness of it 

8th. Whether an enlightened member of a French 
parliament is not a thousand times more wi-etched than 
a Russian cirf or ])easant ? As to the former, the chains, 
from his sensibility, must be extremely galling ; and on 
the latter, they sit as easy as the skin of his back. 

9th. Whether it is salutary or dangeious, consistent 
with, or abhorrent from, the principles and spirit of lib- 
erty and republicanism, to inculcate and encourage in 
the people, an idea, that theii* welfare, safety, and glory, 
depend on one man i Whether they i-eally do depend 
on one man ? 

10th. Whether, amongst the late wann, or rather 
loyal addressers, in this city, to his Excellency General 
AV ashington, there was a single mortal, one gentleman 
excepted, who could possibly be acquainted with liis 
mei'its ? 

11th. Whether this gentleman excepted, does really 
think his Excellency a great man; or whether evi- 
dences could not be produced of his sentiments being 
quite the reverse ? 

12th. Whether the armies under Gates and Arnold, 
and the detachment under Starke, to the Northward, 
or that immediately under his Excellency, in Pennsyl- 
vania, gave the decisive turn to the fortune of war ? 

13th. Whether, therefore, when Monsieur Gerard 
and Don Juan de Miralles, sent ov^er to their respective 
courts the pictures of his Excellency General Washing- 
ton at full length, l)y Mr. Peal, there would have been 
any impropriety in sending over, at the same time, at 


least a couple of little heads of Gates and Arnold by 
M. de Simitiere. 

14tli. On what principle was it that Congress in the 
year 1776, sent for General Lee quite from Georgia, 
with injunctions to join the army under General Wash 
ington, then in York-Island, without loss of time. 

1 5th. Whether Congress had reason to be satisfied 
or dissatisfied with this their recal of General Lee, 
from w hat subsequently happened on York-Island, and 
at the White-Plains ? % 

16th. Whether Fort Washington was or was not 
tenable ? Whether there were barracks, ca<^emates, 
fuel, or w^ater, within the lx)dy of the [)lace ? Whether 
in the outworks, the defences were in any decent order ? 
And whether there were even platforms for the guns? 

1 7th. Whether, if it had been tenable it could have 
answered any one single purpose ? Did it cover, did it 
protect a valuable country i Did it prevent the ene- 
my's ships from passing or repassing with impunity ? 

18th. Whether, when General Howe manifestly 
gav^e over all thoughts of attacking General Washing- 
ton, in the last strong position in the rear of White- 
Plains, and fell back towards York-Island, orders 
should not have been immediately dispatched for the 
evacuation of Fort Washington, and for the removal of 
all the stores of value from Fort Lee to some secure 
spot, more removed fi'om the river ? Whether this 
was not proposed and the proposal slighted ? 

19th. Whether the loss of the garrison of Fort 
Washington, and its consequent loss of Fort Lee, with 
the tents, stores, <fec. had not such an effect ori the 
spirits of the people, as to make the difference of 
twenty thousand men to America ? 

2()th. Whether, in the defeat of Brandewine, Gene- 
ral Sullivan was really the person who ought to have 
been censured ? 

21st. Whether, if Duke Ferdinand had commanded 
at Germantown, after having gained, by the valour of 
his troops, and the negligence of his enemy, a j)artial 


victory, he would have contrived, by a single stroke of 
the Bathos, to have corrupted this partial victory into 
a defeat ? * 

22d. Whether our position at Valley Forge was not 
such, that if General Howe, or afterwards General 
Clinton, had been well informed of its circumstances, 
defects, and vices, they might not at the head of ten, 
or even of eight thousand men, have reduced the Ame- 
rican army to the same fatal necessity as the Ameri- 
cans did General Burgoyne ? 

28d. Whether the trials of General St. Clair, of 
which court-martial General Lincoln was president, 
and that on General Lee, were conducted in the same 
forms, and on the same principles ? Whether in the 
former, all hearsay evidences were not absolutely re- 
jected ; and in the latter hearsay evidence did not con- 
stitute a very considerable part ? 

24th. Whether, if the Generals Schuyler and St. 
Clair, had been tried by the same court-martial as 
General Lee was, and, instead of Congress, General 
Washington had been the prosecutor, those gentlemen 
(unexceptionable as their conduct was) would not 
have stood a very ugly chance of being condemned ? 
And whether, if instead of General Washington, Con- 
gress had been the prosecutor. General Lee would not 
probably have been acquitted with the highest honour ? 

25th. Whether it must not appear to every man who 
has read General Washington's letter to Congress, on 
tlie affair at Monmouth, and the proceedings of the 
Court-Martial, by which General Lee was tried, that if 
the contents of the former are facts, not only General 
Lee's defence must be a tissue of the most abominable 
audacious lies, but that the whole string of evidences, 

* In one of the numerous piiblicHtions Viiiich liave lately infest^^d Phila- 
delphia, it was brought as a crime against Mr. Deane, that he had, directly 
or indirectly, made some overtures to Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, to 
accept the command of the American army, who must of course have 
superceded General Washington. This crime appeaivd to all the foreign 
officers who are acquainted with the prince's reputation iis a soldier, in so 
very ridiculous a light, that they never think or speak of it without being 
thrown into violent tits of laughter. 


l)()th on the part of the j)rosecution and prosecuted, 
must be guilty of rank perjury, as the testimonies of 
those gentlemen, near forty in number, delivered on 
oath, scarcely in one article coincide with the detail 
given in his Excellency's letter ? 

To TfiE Eorrou of the Maryland Journal. 

Westmoreland County, July y*^ 14^*" 1779. 

The Author of the Queries political and military 
which lately made their appearance in your papers, and 
which, it seems, have occasioned so great an alarm, V)egs 
leav^e thro' the same channel to prevent two mistakes 
which the public may possibly fall into. In the first 
place, when 8|:)eakinff of the wide disagreement betwixt 
the Letter addressed to Congiess by General Washing- 
ton on the affair of Monmouth and the testimonies of 
the Evidences in Greneral Lee's trial both on the part 
of the Prosecutors and the prosecution — He assures 
you that it never was his meaning to imply an intention 
m General Washington to impose a falsehood on the 
Public. He is convinced that at the time the Genc^ral 
wrote this Letter, He was fully persuaded that what he 
uttered was literally fact. He can have no doubt of 
the General's being a man of strict veracity and is con- 
vinced (as General Lee observes in his defence) that 
whenever he acts from himself no Officer in his Army 
will have reason to complain of injustice or indeconim: 
but that the General was grossly deceived on that day 
is now past dispute. He was deceived by false reports 
of those who had seen little and knew less. He was de- 
ceived in every point. He was deceived with res})ect 
to the number of the troops on both sides. He was 
taught to believe, for instance, that General Lee had 
witli him six thousand men, and that the British troops 
were not near that force ; w^ieieas it is manifested that 


the Corps under General Lee's command when the re- 
treat took place, in the first instance, did not consist of 
more than fiveteen hundred, & that the Enemy to speak 
moderately amounted to not less than eight thousand 
men. He was deceived in thinking that the retreat was 
the immediate measure of Genei'alLee, whereas, neces- 
sary as it was, it is proved that a fortunate accident 
was the cause indeed it is impossible from the situa- 
tion Gen^ Washington was in when the retreat began, 
that he could be a judge of the expedience or inex- 
pedience of the first retreat or the merits or demerits of 
the consequent manoeuvres — and if the General had 
happily taken time to inform himself of the circum- 
stances, the Author of the Queries is inclin'd to believe 
not only that He never would have written the Letter 
to Congress in the form it appeared, but that He would 
have considered General Lee ni a light diametrically the 
reverse of a delinquent. In fine, the Querist begs leave 
to repeat that he never harboured a thought of General 
Washington's intentionally corrupting the truth but 
only laments his precipitancy in receiving as facts the 
vague idle repoi-ts of Men who had seen little, knew 
less, and who were totally ignorant of the whole cir- 
cumstances of the day, the disparity of the numbers, 
the nature of the ground, and the alarming conditi(m of 
the Flanks. The second mistake which tlie Author of 
the Queries wishes to prev^ent the Public from falling 
into, is that a general unlimited reflection is intended 
on tlie Members of the Court Martial by which General 
Lee was tried, so far from it, that he has substantial 
Reasons for thinking highly of the honour and prol)ity 
of sev^eral of the Individuals who compos'd it, but that 
the principles on which the trial was conducted and the 

feneral procedure of the Court was irregular, unprece- 
ented, inquisitorial and iniquitous is universally allow'd 
by every Man who was present at the trial and by every 
Man who has attentively perus'd it, and has honesty 
enough to give his sentiments on the subject — In the 
first place General Lee was found guilty of disobedience 


to discretionary ordei-s, whicli is an impossibility. He 
might have been guilty of misconduct, but to disobey 
discretionary orders (and General Washingtons Letter 
to Congress acknowledges they were discretionary) is as 
absolutely impossible as to kill a dead man — Secondly, 
he was found guilty of an unnecessary, and, in some re- 
spects, a disorderly retreat, for it seems the Court 
thought it expedient (by what right themselves best 
know) to sink the epithet shameful which was a part 
of the charge sent in Tby the General. Now that a retreat 
made by hveteen hundi'ed men, in the face of eight 
thousand in a country totally unreconnoitred, a succes- 
sion of dangerous defiles in the rear, the flanks in danger 
every moment of being turned by a formidable Cavalry 
— should be pronounced ymiecessary must certainly ap- 
pear paradoxical to every Man of common understand- 
ing, and whether a retreat perfonned in these circum- 
stances without the loss of a single gun, a single colour, 
a single Company or a single platoon without precipi- 
tation or the air of flight, halts made and vigorous 
checks given to the Enemy in every favoural)le spot of 
the theati'e of action, whether (it is demanded) a retreat 
in these circumstances and in this manner executed being 
pronounc'd disorderly does not appear rather the deci- 
sion of a Court of inquisition, predetermin'd to condemn 
[than] that of a Court Martial? But what renders this 
decision still more singular is that the retreat (necessary 
as it was) [is proved] to have been so far from General 
Lee's measure, that it was against his orders and against 
his inclination, and that to a fortunate accident alone it 
could be asci-ibed. 

The tw^o Letters to the General which constitute the 
third article of the cliarges against Mr. Lee most cer- 
tainly do not come under that article of War the inten- 
tion of which is to restrain Oflicers and Soldiers from 
writing or speaking disrespectfully of the Commander 
in Chief — laws that would admit of such an extension 
would be too hard for a Russian digestion. These let- 
ters were private letters of remonstrance and expostu- 


lation betwixt Officer and Officer for injuries conceiveil 
to be offered, and ought to have been constioied as such 
only, the Querist is not singular in this opinion, every 
Officer of any considerable rank who has been bred up 
in the English, French, or other European Service, 
every Major General in the American Army whose sen- 
timents have V>een ask'd on this subject (and the Ma- 
jority have been asked) agree that these letters were 
not cognizable by the Court, and that by all means tliey 
ought to have been rejected, these considerations with 
others (which will one day appear) justify the Author 
of the Queries in asserting that the principles on wdiieh 
the trial of General Lee was conducted, and the whole 
tenor of the proceedings of the Court was irregular, un- 
precedented, inquisitorial and iniquitous, but at the 
same time He assures the Public, that an unlimited re- 
flection on the members who composed it was far from 
his intention, as several of 'em He has the strongest rea- 
sons to believe are men of the strictest honour, probitv 
and virtue. 

To Philadelpiha Editors. 

The enclosed [foregoing communication] was sent to 
M^ Goddard, immediately after his insertion of the 
Queries Political <fe Military; and since it has never 
ap{)eiire(l in the Maryland Journal, I will esteem it a 
very singular favor done me if you will afford it a 
place in your next. 

T am Sir y'. olA Servt 

J. S. Eustace. 

President Reed to the Public. 

The aspersions which have been thrown on my own 
character f i*om the press, I have ever despised too much 
to take the least notice of them ; but when a most val- 


uable and amiable character is attacked through nie, I 
think it my duty to remark it, and guard tlie public 
from error, even in opinion. 

In a set of queries, designed to lessen the cliaracter 
of General Washington, in a late paper, I am alluded 
to so particularly as not to be mistaken, and quoted, as 
having furnished evidences under my own hand, that 
General Washington was not the distinguished charac- 
ter the addresses of the Council of this State had rep- 
resented ; from which an inference is to be drawn pre- 
judicial to the General in point of ability, and the 
Council in consistency, so far as I had any share in 
those addresses. This insinuation I therefore think it 
my duty to contradict ; and though the sanctity of 

{)rivate and confidential correspondence has been gross- 
y violated on this occasion I should have passed it by, 
if the fact had not been as grossly mis-stated. 

The only ground on which this insinuation can be 
made, arose from the following circumstance: In the 
fall, 1776, I was extremely anxious that Fort Washing- 
ton should be evacuated : there was a difference in 
opinion among those whom the General consulted, and 
he hesitated more than I ever knew him on any other 
occasion, and more than I thought the public service ad- 
mitted. Knowing that General Lee's opinion would be 
a great support to mine, I wrote to him from Hackin- 
sack, stating the case, and my reasons, and I think, ui'g- 
ing him to join me in sentiment at the close of my let- 
ter ; and, alluding to the particular subject then before 
me, to the best of my recollection, I added this sentence: 
" With a thousand good and great qualities, there is a 
want of decision to complete the perfect military char- 

Upon this sentence, or one to this effect, wrote in 
haste, in full confidence, and in gi'eat anxiety for the 
event, is this ungenerous sentiment introduced into the 
world. The event but too fully justified my anxiety ; 
for the fort was summoned that veiy day, and sur- 
rendered the next I absolutely deny that there is any 


other ground hut this letter ; and if there is, let it be 
produced. I have now only to add, that though General 
Wuvshington, soon after, by an accident, knew of this 
circumstance, it never lessened the friendship which sub- 
sisted })etween us. He had t<K) much greatness of mind 
to suppose himself incapable of mistakes, or to dislike a 
faithful friend, who should note an error with such cir- 
cumstances of respect, and on such an occasion, I have 
since been with this great and good man, for such he is, 
at very critical moments ; and I hope I shall not be sus- 
pected of unbecoming adulation, when I assure my 
countrymen, (so far as my opinion is thought of any 
consequence), that they may repose themselves in per- 
fect confidence on his prudence and judgment, which 
are ecpial to any circumstances ; — and that repeated ex- 
perience of the value of his opinions, have inspired him 
with more dependence on them than his mode8j;y and 
diffidence would in some cases formerly admit. Time 
will shew, whether his enemies will not find themselves 
disappointed in their attempts to shake the public con- 
fidence, and lessen a character of so much worth, to 
gratify private, violent resentments. 

Joseph Reed. 
Philadelphia, July 14th, 1779. 

FnoM Joseph Nourse. 

Philad. 20^ July, 1779. 
Dear Sir, 

I have received your very acceptable Letter from' 
Fredericksbourg and o])sei've with a degree of concern 
your opinion of the doleful State, & the Idea you have 
of the melancholy prospect of our Republick — I think 
the historian Robertson at the commencement of his 
History of Charles the 5'** speaking of the Roman Em- 
pire says, the seeds were sown in the formation of the 
Constitution, that eventually overturned the empire. 


May the Guardian Angel of America still deign to smile 
upon her Country with her enlightening Countenance, 
& j)revent our fall, or rather may that kind hand of 
Providence who views past, present & to come, continue 
that protection which has been vouchsafed in this Con- 
test, pity our Frailties, and if not for us, for the millions 
of unborn, that will people this Western World, estab- 
lish our Governments, & render us a haj)py people — If 
the English Government should take similar steps with 
regard to property, as Virginia has done belonging to 
Residents in Great Britain, it may affect our family 
very considerably, as my Father has considerable Inter- 
est there — probably you may also be affected — Situated 
as I am, I am not confined either to time or place, an 
Idea has struck me possibly I may be mistaken but if 
it strikes you in the same light possibly I cou'd be the 
means of improving your fortune, and you thereby might 
be of service to me — As I am acquainted with Trade, 
and want only the means of doing something in it, sup- 
j>ose you were to give me an order on 3^our Correspon- 
dents in England, for £2000. st*^. & this money to be 
employed in the general Stock ; I wou'd fortwith em- 
bark, & go over to England via France, and cany even 
on my return such Articles as I cou'd be certain wou'd 
meet an advantageous profit to Holland, cfe from thence 
in a dutch bottom to S*. Eustatia, <fe send in small Ves- 
sels a proportionate part of the Cargo, making an In- 
surance — I wou'd keep a strict account, and you shou'd 
equally share in the profits and only bear a proportion- 
able part of the expense. Such a scheme wou'd be 
worthy of prosecution, <fe possibly I might an'ange your 
other affairs there to your satisfaction. I am not ac- 
quainted with their situation, but having heard of your 
having money there and your Bills having lately met 
due acceptance, it is a plan I have long wish'd for, and 
I mention it as an advantageous one wherein you wou'd 
be equally benefitted with myself. I can settle all my 
Affairs here & go out a supercargo to the West Indies. 
You may have no Idea of the money being valuable, 


but T can assure you setting aside the exchange, which* 
will always be in j)roportion to the increase, the profits 
are very great. 1 take the lil)er^ty to enclose a News- 
paper, ife congratulate you on the Contents, & with my 
res])ectful Compliments in return to Mr. Eustace 
I am D^ Sir, Your most obt. hum. Serv 

Joseph Nourse. 

Major General Lee, Berkeley County, Virginia, 

to the Care of M', Martin Wolfred, Shepherdstown. 
]) post to Baltimore. 

To THE Consul of France at Baltimore. 


Altho' I have not the honour of bying pereonally 
accjuainted with you, yet as from all report 1 have con- 
ceived a veiy great oj>inion of your character, I take 
the liberty of addressing this letter to yon, and as I 
understand you are perfect master of English, you will 
not take it ill that I write in this language, rather 
than in French, in which from disuse I do not find the 
same facility of expressing myself with precision as I 
formerly had. 

That such low-bred ruffians (as the banditti who 
lately committed those scandalous outrages on M' God- 
dard) should grossly misconstrue my meaning aud 
words neither surprises nor mortifies me. But if I 
thought a Gentleman of liberal mind and education 
(such as you are represented to be) could be infected 
with j)rejudice, so far as to interpret what I have 
written into a sense c^uite foreign from my intention, 
it would give me both astonishment and the greatest 
concern. To elucidate a general proposition which 
was that a sensible and well-armed people when strip'dof 
their liberties, either civil or political, are more wretch'd 
than rude ])arbarians, who have not the least idea 
either of the one or the other I happened to parallel 


the feelings of an enlightened member of the French 
Parliament (when the hand of power is upon him) 
with the condition of a Russian serf, who has no feel- 
ings at all, but when immediately under the lash of the 
Knout. It must be allowed, Sir, that until the power of 
issuing lettres de cacliet and of banishing at Will is 
formally given up by the Crown, the members of a 
French Parliament cannot be said to have any liberties, 
political or civil : This power of the Crown, it is prob- 
able, (from the character of the reigning Prince) will 
not be exerted : and it is probable from the spirit of 
liberty which has been long fermenting in the breasts 
of almost every Frenchman, that if it was exerted it 
would not be long endiu'ed. But it is certain that in 
the last reijjn it was exerted and severely, it is certain 
that several of the members of parliament were sent 
into exile for refusing their sanction to measures, which 
they thought oppressive : It is certain that the greatest 
numl)eroi 'em were men of the most enlightened minds 
and elevated sentiments ; and that the sense of the 
hardship of their conditions, must have been exquisite 
in pro{)ortion : And on the same principle it may be 
a?^8erted, that the situation of a disrranchised citizen of 
Pensylvania (who are a sensible well-informed people) 
is more galling than that of a subject of Morocco, who 
has not the words — privilege or Liberty in his vocabu- 
lary. Your countryman the Abbe Kenal (in more 
than one part of his political discoui*ses if I recollect 
right) says the Body of the English people ai*e ex- 
tremely corrupt ; this may certainly be called a national 
reflection, yet I never heard of any English gentleman 
of a liberal education resenting it ; nor do I believe if 
the Abbe should chuse to go into England, he would 
find in the least a worse reception for it : indeed by 
any fair induction from the Quere now attempted to 
be made so wicked a handle of, it must appear that a 
compliment was intended rather than the reverse ; for if 
I had been acquainted with any other subjects of an 

absolute monarchy (whose minds were as enlightened 
Vol. 111.-23 



and sentiments as elevated as the members of a French 
Parliament) I should prol)ably have brought tli^m 
forth for the pui-pose of illustrating the position laid 
down — Upon my word, and I dare say 5'ou will agree 
with me, if this mode is introduced and encouraged of 
torturing every paragraph of a printed paper, or every 
sentence a man throws out in common conversation into 
a calimmy on particular men, or reflections on nations, 
there is an end not only to the freedom of writing, V>ut 
of all human society. So far from entertaining a dis- 
like to the national character of your country, to their 
habits, manners, and general condition of the subject 
that I have had serious thoughts of making France the 
seat of my residence for the remainder of my days, and 
I am apt to think the migrations will not be inconsid- 
erable, for in this country we have already many in- 
stances of as perfect a tyianny (altho' of a different 
species) being exercised, as that to obviate which, so 
much valuable blood has been spilt, I might Sir, refer 
you to all the French Gentlemen in the American Ser- 
vice who have fallen in my way, whether any part of 
my conduct has indicated any Antigallican prejudices.- 
I shall now conclude with earnestly entreating that if 
from the gross air you at present breathe in you have 
imbibed for a single moment, the erroneous idea that I 
meant a reflection, or to derogate from the credit of 
your Nation, you will discard it, as u])on my h<mor it 
w^as most remote from my thoughts or intention, I must 
farther entreat that as I mean to clear up this point 
not to you (personally) ahme but to all your country- 
men, that you will not be offended if a copy of this 
Letter which you are troubled with should be inserted 
i:i some of the Public Pa])ers. 

I am Sir, your most humble Serv** 

Charles Lee. 
1**' August 1779. 
To The Chevalier D'Anmourz 

Resident Consul of his most Christian Majesty, 


From Mrs. C. Cutiibert. 

[Tho fir&t part of this letter is missing from the Lee Papers.] 

P. S. Well I am to Say Something for Myself — then 
" over the water, & over the Lee, and over the Water 
to Charley " Is the Word — I hope to Be with You Bag 
& Baggage Before I eat my Christmas Dinner, Mamma 
Says 1 must Carry My Cradle, But as I have a Will of 
my own (<fe they seem disposed Just Now to Coax Me) 
I say I won't : You must find the Cage, & I'll brim 
the Bird, and I will make you a present of them BotJ 
— As an Addition to vour Pets. I am just thinking 
what Brackenridge will say when we all get together — 
(We have heard his speech about you already) — Such 
a family of curiosities as General Lee has got ! a Widow 
that Is resolved to live in a State of Monogamy A 
Settled Serious Politician, as staunch a Whig as ever 
Shouldered a Musket in America You shall fui*nish 
hirn with a list of my extraordinary abilities — & Genl. 
Lees adopted Son, a wild, volatile, extravagant fellow, 
with a little of the Shandean Fun about him ; In short 
a fine Child the Picture of his Pious Daddy — the L — d 
have Mercy upon You ! & give you patience & resigna- 
tion under all these trials. Don't forget to have a 
Swing ready, I remember a Compliment You Paid me 
once that you wou'd give a hund*'. Guineas for my 
Picture when I was swinging — If you apply to My 
Master I dare say you may get the Original for half 
the Sum — for in real good truth I am a very useless 

Kiece of fui*niture these times. I am not going to 
Lake one word of Apology for all the trouble 1 am 
likely to give you — If you wish to lessen look out for 
a hal)itation for us — Neither shall I say a word about 
the fellow-feeling I have for You, that is an old Story 
— & I know ^'^ou hate Repetitions & Parenthesis — And 
now my Dear Sir believe from the bottom of my soul, 
& In the sincerity of my heart I wish you & every 
thing that you like, happiness, and that regard, Esteem 


<fe Respect, <fe every other Word that is made Use of 
on thojre occasions Added to Affection, does not ex- 
press more than I feel for General Lee, as the Guard- 
ian <fe Protector of a beloved & only Brother. 

I want to ask you a question — how comes it you never 
Courted me ? I declare I don't think there is any body 
In the Round World tliat wou'd have suited you so well. 
I don't know if I shall forgive you. Your being so 

1)artial to Jack has quite mortified Me — ^And I am sure 
'. am as clever a fellow & have not half his faults. I 
think the Postscript is long enough, You think so too 
— So Adieu ! Adieu ! 


August 10th, '79. 

Major John S. Eustace to Brig. Gen. AVayne. 


Gen^ Lee desired me to hand you the enclosed, but 
as I shall not he at Camp so soon as I then expected, I 
do myself the pleasure of forwarding it by this convey- 
ance, and beg leave with him to congratulate you on 
the success of your late spirited & judicious attack 
upon the Post at Stony-Point. 

I am Sir, respectfully, 

J. S. Eustace. 
Brigadier Gen^ AVayne. Augt. 27th, 1779. 

To Brigadier General Wayne. 

Berkely County, August llh 1779. 

You will do me the justice to acknowledge that at 
the time 1 was taught to think (I am sure without 


foundation), that you were one of the most active in 
my prosecution, T gave it as my opinion that you were 
a brave officer, and an honest man. You must likewise 
recollect, that when you sent me a certain message at 
Elizabeth town, I told you that if T was appointed to a 
command, and had my choice of brigadiers, you should 
be one of my first election ; I hope therefore that what 
I am going to say you will not consider as paying my 
court m this your hour of glory, for as it is, at least, 
my present intention to leave this continent, where I 
have been so scurvily and ungratefully treated, I can 
have no interest in paying my court to any individual : 
what I shall say, thei-efore, is dictated, by the genuine 
feeling of my heart. — I do most sincerely declare, that 
your action in the assault of Stony Point is not only 
the most brilliant, in my opinion, through the whole 
course of this war, on either side, but that it is one of 
the most brilliant I am acquainted with in history : — 
upon my soul, the assault of Sweidnitz, by marshall 
Laudun, I think inferior to it. T Avish you, therefore, 
most sincerely, ioy of the laurels you have deservedly 
acquired, and that ypu may long live to wear them, — 
and if you have leisure, as 1 am curious in these details, 
to inform me of the particular order of your disposi- 
tion, you will much oblige one who is, without flattery, 
with respect and no small admiration, 

Your most humble servant, 

Charles Lee. 
Brig. Gen. Wayne. 

Joseph Nourse to Ma.l Gen. Gates 

Philadelphia 12^^ August 1779. 

I had the pleasure to receive your note with a Letter 
enclosed for M". Gates which agreeably to your request 
I forwarded by a safe conveyance. The Letter you 
sometime ago sent to Mr. Peters was forwarded by Mr. 


P. to Baltimore & Mr. James Millegan previous to my 
being acquainted with the receipt oi it by Mr. Peters, 
otherwise I should have taken the charge of it. Mr. 
Millegan is a Scotchman Man, Imt I cannot conceive he 
comes within your intention, when you desire me in 
your Letter to Mr. Lovell, not to trust your Letter by 
a Scotch Conveyance there is something further im- 
plied, and you may rely uj>on my care in forwardine: 
your Packets for M". Gates by the best conveyances — I 
can only recollect four Letters that I have received from 
you, for your good Lady, including that which Mr. 
Lovell handed me, which I have in waiting for a good 
opportunity, the others I forwarded, and have no rea- 
son to doubt, but that they were duly received — I have 
only received one Letter from her for you, which I con- 
clude you received about three weeks after Mrs. Gates 
left you, as I forwarded it immediately by the Post. 

I am thus j)articular lest you should thnik me defici- 
ent in my duty, so far from it, that I beg leave to assure 
you, I take a particular pleiisure in executing these 
trivial Commissions, and am richly repaid in the satis- 
faction I have in doing them. 

General Lee writes me that my Sister has again been 
unfortunate: a misfortune not similar to the last, for ye 
little one never made its entrance. I need not be more 
particular, neither is it necessary to embellish this Cir- 
cumstance in the ludicrous manner the Genei*al did to 
me — My Father Mother & Family were well the be- 
ginning of last month — Mrs. Gates & Family Jem also 
writes are well. General Lee has gone down with 
Eustice to Fredericksbourg to spend a few weeks — As 
you have no doubt seen the jmblication of Mr. Goddard 
on the subject of a number of Queries which were pre- 
sented to him by General Lee, I shall only observe that 
they have only tended to render him more unpopular — 
however true and just in a RepuVdican Government they 
have not suited the minds of the people, and I wish for 
his sake, that he had laid the ])ul>lication of them aside 
for a future day — I congratulate you Sir, on the late 


important Intelligence from Europe & the West India 
Islands. I think the day is very fast approaching, that 
you and the many others who have foregone the Ease 
& Comforts of domestic Life to engage in the cause of 
Freedom and Independence, will be enabled to return 
to that envied State and in addition to other Blessings 
enjoy the pleasing idea of having been imminently in- 
strumental under the kind hand of Providence of affect- 
ing so glorious a Revolution. My Father has adver- 
tized the large Spring Tract for Sale by Public Vendue 
on the 21"' of September — his motives for doing this is 
to enable my brothers, Jem, Charles & Robert to take 
up lands under the late Act, opening a Land Office the 
price is £40 V C p 100 acres. But before Jem goes 
out, I expect he will take a partner, to share with nim 
in the fateagues of so long a Journey — the Young Lady 
has several Blackies, which Jem, I suppose deems essen- 
tially necessary to level the huge trees of Kaintucke. 

I take the liberty to the enclosed with one of 

Townes late Papers cont^. Doctor Franklin's Address to 
the Inhabitants of Ireland. Mr. Tom Hite lay at the 
point of Death when my Father last wrote to me, with 
a nervous fever. I beg pardon for trespassing upon 
you with this long Letter, and haste to conclude, with 
my best respects to your self & Family. 

D^ Sir, Your Most Obe\ humble Servant. 

Joseph Nourse. 
Hon. Gen. Gates. 

Rev. William Gordon to Maj. Gen. Gates. 

Jamaica Plain, 2L August 1779 

Dear General Gates, 

You have been very good in your last Packet, which 
the express delivered about five o'clock yesterday. Do 
not send the letters back, before Tliui-sday by Mum- 
ford, as I shall not see D', Cooper 'till Wednesday. On 


the tuesdav Hazard & I went & dined with Mr. John 
Adams who communicated to us the copy of a long 
sensible letter he had sent to Congress, wherein he liad 
given the political state of Europe. His letter was so 
in unison with what you received from Paris both in 
Sentiment and stile, that upon recollecting it & attend- 
ing to some internal marks I was immediately reminded 
of the Author of Junius Americanus, to whom I wrote 
lately beginning thereby a correspondence with him. 
Mr. John Adams shewed us a^so some letters that 
passed between him and Mon^ Vergennes after Deane's 
address first made its aj)j)earance in France ; from what 
Mon'. Vergennes wrote him you are o})liged to believe 
that the Reports spread concerning Mr. Lee's being 
distasteful to that Minister must be false, and that 
either the minister hath not wrote about him, or what 
he liath wrote has been se])arated from the context <fe 
perverted to answer a purpose, as is done at times by 
designing priests when they handle the word of God 
deceitfully. M'. Adams has sent a Copy of the whole 
cori-espondence to Congress, Mr Lee's defence is at Con- 
gress, & Lee has given orders to prosecute Dean for 
defamation. The affair I hope will be sifted to the 
bottom, and every honest man who has a grain of inHu- 
ence with the memljers of Congiess sliould j)ush them 
on to do it soon — for tlie sooner it is done the better. 
The public w^ill never get right 'till the wound is 
reached, <fc the corrupt matter is moved, then we shall 
heal again. I shall make no comments upon Penob- 
scott. I was prepared for the worst, having exj)ec-ted 
it. However for the present we are saved, tho we 
deserve it not. (We parsons can do })ut little towards 
ridding the Country either of our enenlit^s, our avarice 
or our idolatiy). 

You will heal* of a number of Jamaica Ships })eing 
brought into Boston, if the news of the afternoon 
proves ti'ue. 

Have not yet seen Mr. Saml Adams since his leaving 
Providence. You two when together I conceive were 


as intimate <fe as liappy as your similar political hearts 
<fe heads could make you. 

Mr. Jolin Adams seems much pleased with the new 
French Aml)a8sador — Hope you w'ill see him in his 
way, ife plan an early removal of the enemy through 
the assistance of French or Sj)aniards or both. (Iieat 
Britain I am afraid is in a galloping Consumption. 
Let her be reduced, <fe her pride humbled, but I wish 
her to live. 

Pi'ay desire D'. F. to inform you of the hapjiy effects 
of Saratoga Convention for America, not generally 
known — My intended History will be defective with- 
out them. You may plead a right to be acquainted 
with them as you gave rise to them. 

When (lid you hear from Mr^ Gates <fe your Son ? 
Why don't you let me know that they are well i Mrs. 
Gordon <fe friends are in statu quo, <fe would be remem- 
bered to you. 

I am using u[) your waste paper fast, that if you can 
send me a bundle by the next opportunity, you will do 
well in doing it. Hazard is so busy in transcribing 
himself into a man of note <fe character, that he contin- 
ues to put off writing to you. When you send again, 
rap his knuckles — moderate discipline will mend liiiu 
— Cannot conjecture when he and I can come and see 
you, but probably it will be in company before winter 
makes the roads bad. Whether here or elsewhere you 
wnll find me a steady hearty friend <fe 

Youi humble Sei*. 

William Gordon. 

As Cornw^allis has aiTived wnll he not probably have 
the command. If he has will not Clinton return to 
England ? Is it not equally probable that Try on 
(})eing superseded as Governor) wnll go too? — that 
they will both go together ? — & in no lai-ger a vessel 
than a frigate ? — Should this be the Case cannot you 
lay a Plan for catching them. 

Lords day i after nine 


FuoM Majok John S. Eustace. 

Philadelphia 21^ August '79. 

I arrived in this city my dearest General the thLi'd 
day after I left you —and sorry, very sorry am I tx> tell 
you — that (notwithstanding tlie most indefaticable 
(sic) efforts, I have not been able to procure admission 
for eitlter of your pieces^ in anyqftJie GazHt^H however 
GoihJard and Osioald were in town — and to them I ap- 
plied for assistance — Goddard writes you a long letter 
respecting 'em — and I think we shall be able to present 
'em to the world in print — I got introduced to Oswald 
— and was sony his short stay here (for he sett out the 
day after) put it out of my power to shew him those 
civilities I wished — and which his attachment to you 
entitled him to, from me. I ffave him an invitation to 
see me on his return, [and | 1 mentioned to them the 
uneasiness tlieir situation had given you ; and received 
in return the warmest <fe most cordial assurances of the 
continuation of their respect and esteem for you. 

Doctor Craig was here when I airived, I dined ^vith 
him at Col : Laurens's — and cou'd not speak to him, cm 
the suhject of his celebrated letter ^ there however I dis- 
covered his lodgings, and with a friend called on liim 
to know if he ever had written such an Epistle — he de- 
clared lie never had — but confessed he had mentioned it 
verbally to some j)er8ons & s"^ *' he wou'd take his oath 
— you wrote a letter into the Enemy^ l)efore the action 
was over — without the conxiUTrenee or hnowledge of Geih- 
eral Washingtmi — and that you sent it l)y a woman who 
w^ent in, by y' permission — and not by the GeneraFs " 
— I was surprized at this declaration — and told him I 
shou'd write to you for the particulars — and that I 
shou'd then investigate the matter fully with him — 
Now, my dearest friend, send them to me — and by the 
Etenial God, if I detect him^ or anybody else — in a lie 
respecting you — I will punish them at the risk of my 


Life — mention to me-r-if you can recollect any persons 
who were present — and I'll bring 'em face to face — and 
correct liim, if 'tis at tlie General's Tent — 'tis a duty I 
owe to you and common humanity — and altho' I cannot 
eradicate the prejudices that have taken root against 
you in this city, yet no fellow sludlinjure you with ivi- 
punity if I can h^lp it — If I fall, you will respect me 
for the attempt — If I succeed, my own will 

compensate for the risk — 

I speak of you here openly and largely. I give my 
sentiments of your affair, witli all the warmth of a 
young man — tho' without the prudence of an old one 
— I said 'tother night I thought Colonel Hamilton tvas 
perjured — that I could convince himself of it, by read- 
ing over tlie Tryall to hini — and if that was not suffix 
cieut evidence^ it might rest on matter of ojyinion — and 
be decided as he cliose — there were several officers })re8- 
ent — but they said notliing in reply — tho' I'm confident 
they'll tell him — <fe I've no objections. 

Pray write my dear General, and give me fi folio of 
i/fstrt/ctions — and if I do not implicitly comply with 
'em — banish me from yr. fi'iendsliip — Mark me for a 
blarhshefj) — if I don't on all necessary occasions — 
quarrell for you — and fight for you— 7I trust you wou'd 
not suffer anybody to abuse me — were you conscious I 
was innocent — and fi'om that presumption — I draw my 
determinations respecting you. 

Send me if you please — tlie paper you were good 
enough to promise me at Berkeley — for I shall go 
through the je7'seys and may want it — the two Morris's 
have taken cruel pains to injure me — and was not he 
rank'd among the number of y' friends I shou'd have 
pursued a different mode of establishing my character 
— but 'tis not my wish to give you uneasiness or to in- 
duce the world to believe I'm actuated by a principle 
of jealousy — you must V)e sensible Gen^ Lee — I never 
made an attempt to lessen y' esteem [for] any person 
— for whom you professed one — that 1 nevei* a})plied 
to you in my life for a single sixpence, nor made use of 


any arts to draw from you any promise of hefrie7i/Jiti/f 
me^ lieyond tlie obligation of living, with you — and en- 
joying your company and conversation tnere, so help 
me god — Avere the outlineH of my expectations nor did I 
ever, or do I now— possess assurance enough to expect 
anything more — While you live^ I cannot suppose I 
shall enjoy any part of your fortune and God knows, I 
never wish to purchase any part of it, at the price of 
your life — Exclusive of this I've so much scotch blood 
m me — I wou'd not endure the idea of V>eing dependent 
— a single instant for the universe — my situation with 
you, Sii*, has never V)een irksome (on that t^core) but 
the reverse — And tho' I never applied to you for a 
single farthing — yet 'twas not from a want of assv/rance 
that my reqaed won^d have heen granted — but from an 
Idea that it was wrong to trespass upon the goodness 
of heart of that man, under whose patronage I Avas 
placed, by his own benevolence. 

When you allow that thevse things are true, you wnll 
acknowledge my dear General, that it was cruelly severe 
in Major Alorris, to propagate your expression on my 
conduct, even aft^r you forwarded him a letter from me, 
which contained the reasons, that actuated my disposal 
of your effects — and my readiness to repay any expence 
that might accrue from y' rede[eming| of them — You 
will not I hope deny me the favor of just declaring you 
are satisfitMl with my conduct in that affair — I want no 
more — my wish is barely to char my own character not 
to injure that of any other person — 

I shall try to get an interview with my imcle at N. 
York — faith I must do that, or go a-privateerin^ — I 
can't su])f)ort myself in the present line of life I'm m — 
And I cannot think of leaving Philad*, while there is a 
copper s worth of my affairf< unsettled. 

I send you my good Sir the ])a?)iphlet Anticipation 
— of which I spoke to you so highly. 

[Only the fii-st shoot of this letter remains among the Lee Papers. It is 
in the* handwriiing of Major Eustace.) 


To President Eeed. 


Some time ago (for I forget the date) there appeared 
a letter or address of your excellency to the public 
complaining of the violation of the sanctity of private 
CoiTespondence by the author of the queries political 
and military — it is notorious to the world that I am 
the author — I consequently wrote a reply, which was 
sent down for the press by Maj. Eustace to Philadel- 

Ehia. I will not venture to say that your Excellency 
as a ])ositive influence over the press of your capital, 
but there is no rashness in saying that you must have 
a certain degree of influence. I request therefore as a 
gentleman and one embarked in the common cause of 
the liberties of mankind (of w^hich the freedom of the 
press is the basis) that you will use your interest for 
the admission of those papers now m the hands of 
Major Eustace — If they contain anything unfair im- 
candid or dishonest, you or those you chuse to employ 
can by the same channel refute them. 

I am Sir, your obedient servant, 

Charles Lee. 

f *' A Letter To Gov' Reade '' — ^From Copy in Letter Book— in the band- 
writing of Thomas Lee (of Belle- view).] 

To Miss Sidney Lee. 

Prato Rio in Virginia 

Sept' y' 24^ 1 779. 
My dear Sister, 

I have just received your letter from Chester of 
January y* 3"* — I know not whether you have received 
'em, but in the coui-se of this and the last year I wrote 
you two letters — informing you fully of the State of 
my health & spirits — the two points, which I knew 


from your natural tenderness and affection you must 
be the most solicitous about — They have both thank 
Heaven and the good Constitution we received from 
our Father <fe Mother, never faiPd me a single day: and 
untill I am conscious of having committed some un- 
worthy action (which I can assure you is not at present 
the case) the iniquity of men shall never bear me down. 
I have it is true uneasy feelings but not on my own 
personal account. I feel for the ravages and devasta- 
tion of this Continent and the ruin of many thousand 
individuals. I feel for the Empire of Great Britain, 
for its Glory, Welfare, <fe existence, I feel for the for- 
tunes of my friends and Relations, which must receive 
a dieadful shock in this great convulsion. I have been 
accus'd of making it my Study (from a spirit of re- 
venge,) and exerting all the talents I am Master of, to 
involve my Country in the ruinous situation she now is 
in. You know — all my acquaintances and correspon- 
dents know how false this imputation is. I will not 
enter into political retrospection as my letter will prob- 
ably be opened before it reaches yon, but I can safely 
appeal to the substance &> spirits of the letters which 
the publick has already seen, viz, those to Lord Percy 
and General Burgoyne ; wherein I prophesyed the 
fatal events that have followed. By this time I pre- 
sume these Gentlemen repent not treating my predic- 
tions Avdth a little more respect or attention. I cannot 
help lamenting, (at least for my own honor) that 
another which I addressed to General Gage at Boston 
in which I laboured to open his eyes was not published 
and never seen by the public, in which I endeavoured 
to disenchant him from the trance, infatuation, and 
ignorance he had been thrown into by the poisonous 
breath of those who sui-rounded him. I loveci General 
Gage personally — l)ut he has much to answer for — He 
has to answer for I will venture to say the blood of one 
hundred thousand Englishmen, or the immediate de- 
scendents of Englishmen. He has to answer for the 
subversion of the whole British Empire. In short he 


has to ans'sver for more than any man, whose Conscience 
is not as hard as Hell, can stand under the reflection of. 

[I can above all appeal to the knowledge you have of 
the principles that nave actuated me from my infancy 
— You know since I first read and was in a capacity to 
think that the liberties of Mankind have been my 
reigning passion — You are sensible that altho' I always 
wished to see England the presiding part or seat of 
Empire — I was at the same time a champion to the ut- 
most of my power of the rights and privileges of the 
People of every part of the Lmj)ire of the Irish of the 
Scotch of the people of Jersey Guernsey and Minorca 
but more if possible of America a people for whom I 
had conceived the warmest affection from my first 
accjuaintance with them — in short you cannot but be 
thoroughly convinc'd of the purity of the spring of all 
my actions — and as you are my Sister and have a de- 
gree of Philosophy perhaps above your Sex — this con- 
viction cannot fail of being a personal consolation to 
you when your Brother is misrepresented. 

As to my personal Honour (for I suppose you allude 
to the affair of Monmouth) all I shall say is that as I 
believe the proceedings of the Court have been sent to 
England and as you can read have excellent sense and 
can make proper comments I may be quite easy on that 
subject. You have heard, I suppose, that I have 
bought a farm in Virginia, it is a fine grass Country 
w^ith fine waters — the Climate not bad — or lather very 
ood, to those who can resist great heats in summer — 

have at present fifty fine hoi-ses and about a hundred 
head of Cattle besides Sheep — I cou'd wish you and 
your Fortune my Cousin Townshend's w^ere their's cou'd 
by the power of Magick be taken up and set down 
gently here — nor shoul'd I be soriy if the Hunts and 
Barrets could be transported with you — ] 

As to my personal honor (for I suppose you allude 
to the affair of Monmouth) as I believe the proceedings 
of the Court by which I was tried was sent to Eng- 
land, and as I know you have eyes to read, capacity to 



judge, and make proper comments, I may be quite easy 
on the subject. 

My love to all friends, acquaintances & relations, the 
Buiibury's, Townsbenda, Hunts, Hincks, Barretts, cfe**. 
cfe^ Adieu, My dear Sister live long and happily, and 
as far as your humanity will admit laugh at the ini- 
quity of men. 

C. LiKE. 

[Tlie ])aragraphs enclosed in brackets, in the foregoing letter, are added 
from the draft or copy in General Lee's Letter Book.] 

From Joseph Nourse. 

Philadelphia y« 22d Sept' 1779. 
Dear General, 

A former letter of mine acquainted you that I had 
deferr'd the Sale of your Bills upon M'. Jonathan Gas- 
ton for £200 Sterling until I cou'd hear from you and 
obtain an answer to the Questions proposed which 
were : 

Whether I shouM sell them at the current Coui'se of 
2000@2500 p. C\ or whether you wou'd delay the sale 
and remit me Money for the purchase of the several 
Articles enumerated in your letter. The reasons given 
for deferring the sale until I cou'd hear from you, 
wei«e the course of exchange being so very dispropor- 
tionate to the price of Gold and Silver, and the difficul- 
ty that might arise in investing the remainder of the 
money — also, fi*om the tenor of the Letter of advice, a 
doiil)t arises whether they wouVl meet due acceptance, 
and that if they did not that the damages in this State 
are 20 p C^ Sterling, a matter which 1 thought of no 
small importance. You will forgive me if I have not 
in this luvStance answer'd your expectations, as I have 
been altogether govern'd V)y a regard to your interest. 

I have received yours of the 2^ Inst, with the Bills 
enclosed. You have committed an error (to speak in 


the mercantile stile) by sending me two setts of a dif- 
ferent date, when at tlie same time I have no reason to 
think otherwise, than that you intend to draw for only 
one sum of £200 Stg. 

You may rely upon my destroying one of the setts. 
I find that you are rather better satisfied with the Board 
of War ; I cannot accuse them of any misbehaviour 
with regard to your Maps. The further commissions 
that you have sent me, I will endeavour to execute. I 
need not tell you how pleasing these little matters are 
to me, and that you have a right to command every 
thing of this nature that may lie in my power for the 
kind notice you took of me, at a time that I was alto- 
gether a stranger — it will be with singular pleasure 
that I shall obey, which is not altogether the case with 
old servants that conceive they have done with their 
Mastei-s. I shall apply both to Colonel Palfrey and 
the Auditors at Camp, but I conceive, that before any 
thing can be done you shou'd send in your Account 
against the United States, which I believe you are en- 
abled to do from the papers in your possession. I find 
that exclusive of the 3(),()00 dollars, received of Congress 
in December, 1776, you are charged in the Treasury 
Books with 240fi dollars — that you are also charged 
with 1333|^^ dollars in specie, & that you have credit 
for 1233|g- the am*, of your Bills in Specie sold at N Yk. 
You may rely upon complying with your injunxion of 
secresy with respect to the many services you have ren- 
dered. I am a witness to many, <fe that had your ad- 
vice been taken fort Washington had been saved — I do 
not mean to flatter — Justice demands it from me. 

I send vou a Letter from Eustice which answers all 
your Queries. I acknowledge your attention to my 
Int. in offering me your still house, but as I cannot ef- 
fect a Contract with the public for spirits I believe I 
shall give up the Idea altogether. 

Mons^ Gerard departs to morrow. 

The Chev De Luzerne arrived here yesterday. 

I wou'd advise you to send me the specie for the pur- 
Vol. III.— 24 


chase of the sev^eral Articles mentioned in your Lettera 
as soon as you can. I wish tliat it lay in my power to 
purchase them immediately, but the various demands I 
have for the little money at my Command puts it out 
of my power. 

Jacob Morris is at Princeton. 1 left the Message 
with his sister M". La^vl•ence. My Compliments to M^ 
Lee — he either omitted to enclose the measure of M". 
Dunn's foot, or it was lost out in the Road as it never 
reach'd me — farewell 

Yours with regard 

Joseph Nourse. 

General Lee. 

To Benjamin Rush. 

Prato Rio, Sept', ye 26^»^ 1779, 
My D" Rush — 

At length I have receiv'd a letter from you, a happi- 
ness I confess I began to despair of, altho' it is a tribute 
due to the friendship tliat I have professed for you, and 
professed without hypocrisy, and you of course ought 
to be more regular in the payment of this tribute. \ou 
appear to me to be one of those very few mortals w^ho 
from tlie beginning and through the whole course of 
this Contest, liave acted fi'om the pure unadulterated 
principles of lil)erty and republicanism, uninfluenc'd by 
any views of avarice or ambition evry days acquaintance 
has improveM your Character in my opinion for God's 
sake, tlierefore, let me have the satisfaction, ev'ry post, 
if it is })ossible, of hearing from a man I so sincerely love 
and esteem — You say that Great Britain is at her last 
ditch ; She is indeed effectually so ; and to speak freely, 
her case is too desperate rather for the interest of 
America — no danger can now be possibly apprehended 
from her force; all her efforts must be vain, futile 
and impotent — l)ut there may be danger from the op- 
posite quarter ; for if Great Britain is entirely crushed, 


and the House of Bourbon gain the absolute dominion 
of the Seas, America, in my judgment, has not a little 
to dread — America ought therefore to take every pre- 
caution and adopt every measure necessary for com- 
manding respect, before it is too late — for otherwise 
these Powells (now her Allies) when their l^UvSyness is 
completely done with respect to their ancient hereditary 
and dreaded Enemy, may take it into their heads, to 
treat her very cavalierly, and talk in the style of Mas- 
ters or at least of Protectors — You observe I think 
justly, that the Sea appears the proper Element of the 
Americans — it behoves 'em therefore, in time, to lay the 
foundation of a formidable Navy, to build Ships (not 
for sale) but for their own use ; to establish magazines, 
docks, rtj*^ — for no man of common sense, can suppose 
that France or Spain have taken the part they have 
done merely pour les beaux yeux des Americains, anglice, 
merely from being captivated by the sweet countenances 
of the Americans, but, as the Italians express it, from 
la ragioni di Stato — there is one point in particular, and 
that a most important one (I mean the Fishery) which 
I cannot pei'swade myself either France or S])ain will 
agree that America shall have any share of, unless she 
is in a condition to enforce it — because if she has any 
share from the advantages of her situation, the enter- 
prising turn and spirit of her people, she will be enabled 
to undersell the rest, and of coui*se in a little time en- 
gross the whole or the greater part — I have no doubt 
but what I throw out on this head must strike you as 
it does myself — as to internal affairs I am extremely 
rejoiced that there is a prospect of a coalition taking 
place betwixt what are called Tories and the moderate 
men ; for Liberty to be durable ought to be on the 
broadest basis possible; that is there ought to be the 
least number possible of the Citizens interested to over- 
turn the system of Government established, or even 
from any distinctions or exclusions inclined to wish it 
ill — the narrow basis of that of Great Britain, or in 
other words, the inadequacy <fe unfairness of representa- 


tion was the real cause of the subversion of that great 
and glorious Empire, which I cannot help (I am not 
asham'd to publisn it) weeping over, and you, I dare 
say, must, from time to time, shed a generous tear in 
contemplating the ruin of so goodly a fabrick, — bnt 
peace to the shades of the departed and to return to 
the living I do assert then that unless a proper educa- 
tion of tlie rising generation is adopted a new way of 
tliinking and new principles can ])e introduced among the 
People of America, there are little hopes of the present 
republican Governments or anything like repuVdican 
Governments being of any duration — for of all the 
People on earth the Americans, (I speak of the Middle 
States) are the most destitute of all true republican 
spirit and ideas, Virginia, Maiyland, Pennsylvania, and 
the Jerseys, have a monstrously glaring propensity to 
Monarchy, or the consecration of one Man, on whose 
existence and continuation in power their whole glory, 
safety, and happiness They will needs have it; must de- 
pend, and if this one Man was to drop off They would 
of course look out for some other object of their earthly 
worship Do you know (for it is not from the purpose 
to relate the story,) that at a little place in the county 
of Stafford, called Aquia, a resolution was formeVl to 
assassinate me because it had been blazed about the 
Country that I had spoken profanely of the God of their 
idolatry ? On this pious errand, a Com] )any of the most 
zealous Crusaders, a Justice of Peace and Colonel 
of Militia at their head set out, with their loaded 
guns for the Tavern where it was supj)osed I was 
at dinner — I accidentally happened to have left it, 
about half an hour l)efore their arrival — I was in- 
formed of the affair the next day and, contraiy to the 
advice of some friends, took the same rout in my re- 
turn, but passed tranquilly through the village, break- 
fasted at the house of the principal Knight, Avho keeps 
a Tavern, pay'd my reckoning and was thanked for my 
company — Now wiiether the smoke of their fanaticism 
had by this time evaj^orated, or they had been better 


advised, I cannot say ; but the whole is literally true 
indeed the People oi Virginia seem to me to be a race 
of gigantic children, governed entirely by the humour of 
the hour — in a moment they imbibe the most violent 
and absurd prepossessions and in a moment, they are 
talked out of 'em. They are I think to be pityed for 
in some fatal moment they may from their childish 
hastiness, be talked into the forfeiture of their liberties 
and like the People of Denmark be irrecoverably lost 
in short they are not the pro[>er materials as the New 
England are to form a solid lasting and wholesome 
repuV)lic — but to quit this subject or Essay ; have you 
seen my quondam Aid de Camp Eustace? He was 
charged with some papers for your Press, if your Press 
is free, and I have not received a single syllable from 
him since he left me — ^nor do I know whether my letter 
to your divine Governor Mr. Reed, which was my capi- 
tal i)erformance, is or is not published for We have 
here as little comnmnication with the great world or 
as little knowledge of what passes in it as we have of 
those of the Moon — Read's letter or address to the 
Pul)lic was a very dishonest one for I do not upon my 
S(^)ul recollect that He ever wrote me a letter to the 
}>urpose he mentions — He never requested me to second 
his oi)inion (I never heard it was his opinion) for the 
evacuation of Ft. Washington, but only informed me 
that it had been re : inforce'd — which measui-e I repro- 
liated in the strongest terms, as answering no other end 
than making a present to the Enemy of just so many 
more troops, as the place cou'd not be defended for 
four hours, and, if defended, cou'd answer no one jmr- 
pose — but of this more hereafter — my amusement here 
(for I am a wretched Farmer,) is reading, and finishing 
my j)lan for the establishment of a military rejmblic — 
you and many others accuse me of want of religion, 
there never was a greater mistake — to convince you I 
send you my proem, from Cicero de legibus — I am ])er- 
swaded that no Society can exist without religion, and 
I think the Christian ; unincumbered of its sophistica- 


tions, IS the most excellent and [of course] of a divine 
nature as comprehending the most divine system of 
which but at tne same time, I own, I quan'el with the 
tediousness and impertinence of the liturgies of the 
various sects, which so far fi-om being the support are 
the ruin of all religion — as to the dogmas they are 
many of 'em not only absurd but impious as they 
are dislionourable to the Godhead or visible ruler 
and moderator of the infinity of worlds which sur- 
round us I therefore cannot help esteeming myself the 
[champion] vindicator rather than the JDenyer and 
jBlaspliemer of the Almighty — but of this you must 
judge when my performance compleatly appears and in 
its proper dress — I receive'd the other day a letter from 
England, from my sister — the Post Mistress at Balti- 
more informed me by an endorsement that it came to 
Her office open — what am I to think of this — I have 
no doubt it came sealed to head quarters — and surely 
('tho I allow it was in rule that it shou'd be opened 
and penised at Head Quarters) in common decency 
it ought not to have been sul)jected to the inspection of 
all the Post Officers and Post Boys on the road — Amer- 
ica owes me more than slie yet know^ — the explanation 
of this I dare not tiust by common correspondence, but 
when we meet I will explain it at lai'ge, in the mean- 
time as Bi-utus says, my noble Friend, chew upon this 
that if it had not been for my zeal and addi-ess [art, zeal 
when I was prisoner] you had probably been 
lost — this riddle can only be imfolded to you when we 
meet — in the interim I conjure you by all the sacred 
ties [rights] of Friendship [not to] to keej) this riddle 
to voui'self — there are two men on the Continent to 
whom I have openVl myself and you shall be the third 
— You have often said that you were sure I was an 
Enthusiast in the glorious cause of the rights of Man- 
kind, when I talk to you next this opinion, I flatter 
myself, will be more than ever strengthened or in fact 
aV>solutely confirmed. God bless you, my Dr Worthy 
Friend and my love to youi' sweet voiced sweet breathed 


aimiable Wife, your sensible and I am persuaded vir- 
tuous and honest Father and Mother and my favorite 
her sister to whom if you had not thrown out some 
ugly innuendoes of my disparity of age I should [cer- 
tainly] probably have proposed [Marriage] giving the 
absolute sovereignty of Prato Rio and its Lord, but be 
this as it may, once more God bless you all. 

C. Lee. 

Spada and Sapho beg their compliments [to] your 
children and cats for I think you have not the honour 
of having any Dogs in your house — 

My love to your most amiable wife and her aimiable 
Sister for such by my soul I think 'em, and to your 
most respected Father and Mother in law, to whom if I 
have been forc'd collaterally to give any uneasiness, I 
most sincerely lament but the provocation was too 
great for human patience. 

[Note. The first part of this letter is copied from the original of which 
one slieet was found among the Lee Papere. Tlic remainder is taken from 
the draft in one of the letter books, in which some words stricken out by 
the writer are here printed in brackets. The last paragraph above is evi- 
dently a second draft of the concluding portion of the letter.] 

From Brig. Gen. Wayne. 

Light Infantry Camp heights of Haverstraw, 

20th October, 1779. 

Dear Sir, 

I rec*^ your very polite favor of the 11*** of August, 
some time since — but my papers and baggage being at 
a Distance, could not comply with your Request as soon 
as I wish'd — Enclosed you'l find the Disposition of 
attack, & Rough sketch of Stony Point — which I took 
a few days previous to the assault. 

The encomiums you are pleased to pass on that affair 
— gives a sensation which I can much [better] feel than 
express, because they come from a Gentleman of the first 


experience — whose Military abilities stand high in this 
age of the World. 

Give me leave to assure you Sir — that if I have 
fought with some success — your approbation of my 
Conduct, adds not a little to the pleasure I experience 
on that Occasion. 

Interim I am with much Esteem 

Your most obt. <fe very Hum. Serv** 

Anty. Wayne. 
Major Genl. Lee. 


Light Infantry Head Quarters 

Fort Montgomer)^, 15"* July 1779. 

The troops will march this day at twelve o'clock 
and move by tlie riglit, making a short halt at the 
creek or run on this side Clements's. Every OflScer and 
non commissioned oiRcer will remain with and be 
answ^erable for every man in their platoons. No soldier 
to be permitted to quit the ranks on any pretence 
whatever until a general halt is made, and then to be 
attended by one of the Officers of the Platoon — 

When the van of the troops arrive in the rear of the 
hill Z Colonel Febes^er will form liis regiment into a 
solid colunm of a half platoon in front as fast as they 
come up. Colonel Meigs will form next in Febeger's 
rear, and Major Hull in the rear of Meigs; these will 
compose the right column. 

Colonel Butler will form his reg\ in a column on the 
left of Febeger, and Major Murfree in his rear. Every 
Officer and Soldier are then to fix a piece of white 
paper in the most conspicuous part of his hat or Cap 
to distinguish him from the Enemy. 

When the order is given to march, Colonel Fleury 
will take command of one hundred and fifty determined 
and picked men properly officered, and with their arms 


unloaded, placing their whole dependance on the bayo- 
net will move al)out twenty paces in front of the right 
column bv the rout N°. 1, and enter the sally port O ; 
Fleury will Detach an officer and twenty men a little 
in front with orders to secure the Sentrys, remove the 
Abbates and other obstructions, that the column may 
pass through which will follow close in the rear with 
shouldered musquets under CoP. Febeger with General 
Wayne in person. 

When the works are forced and not before the vic- 
torious troops as they enter will give the * w^atchword 
with repeated and loud voice, and drive the enemy 
from their works <fe Guns. 

Should the enemy refuse to surrender or attempt to 
make their escape by water or otherwise vigorous 
means must be used to force them to the former, and 
prevent their accomplishing the latter. 

Colonel Butler will move by the rout N*" 2 preceeded 
by one hundred men with unloaded arms &, fixed 
bayonets under the Command of Major Steward who 
will observe a distance of twenty yards in front of the 
column which will immediately follow under the com- 
mand of Col. Butler and enter the Sally ports C or D. 
Major Steward will also detach a i)roper officer and 
twenty men a little in front to secure the sentries <fe°. As 
soon as they enter the works they are to give, and con- 
tinue the watch word to prevent confusion and mistake. 

Major Murfree will follow Colonel Butler to the first 
figure 3, when he will divide a little to the right and 
leit, and wait the attack on the right which will be his 
signal to begin, <fe keep up a perpetual and gauling 
fire, and endeavor to enter and possess the works a, a. 

If any Soldier presumes to take his musquet fi'ora 
his Shoulder, attempts to fire, ov begin the battle 'till 
ordered by his proper officer he shall be instantly put 
to death by the officer next him ; for the cowardice or 
misconduct of one man is not to put the wboh^ into 
danger or disorder with impunity. 

* The Fort's our own. 


The troops in advancing to the works will observe 
the strictest, & most profound silence, and pay the 
greatest attention to the commands of their Oflicers. 

As soon as the lines are carried, the officers of artil- 
lery with the men under their command will take posses- 
sion of the Cannon, turn them on the shipini; and the 
post on Verplanks point so as to facilitate the attack 
on that (juarter. 

The General has the fullest confidence in the bravery 
and fortitude of the Corps he has the happiness to 
command ; and the distinguished honor conferred on 
every oflicer and soldier who have been drafted into 
this Corps by his Excellency General Washington, the 
credit of the States they respectively belong to, and 
their o^v^l reputation will be such powerful excitements 
to each man to distinguish himself that the General 
cannot have the least doubt of a glorious victory. And 
as a further encourairement, he enGfasces to reward the 
first man who enters the work with five hundred dol- 
lars, and immediate promotion, to the second four hun- 
dred, to the third, three hundred, to the fourth two 
hundred, <fe to the fifth one hundred dollars, and will 
represent the conduct of every officer and soldier who 
distinguishes himself on this occasion in the most favor- 
able point of view to his Excellency who receives the 
greatest pleasure in rewarding merit. But should 
there be any Soldier so lost to every feeling, eveiy 
sense of honor, as to attempt to retreat one single foot, 
or shrink in the face of danger the officer next him is 
immediately to put him to death that he may no longer 
dis<ri*ace the name of a soldier, or the Corps or the 
state to which he belongs. As General Wa\Tie is de- 
termined to share the danger of the night, so he wnshes 
to partici[)ate of the glory of the day in common with 
his fellow soldiers. 

True Copy from the Original Orders. 

H. W. Akciier 

Vol. Aide de Camp. 

The Hon Major Genl Lea 


Draft. To Brig. Gen. Wayne. 

Dr. Sir, 

I received your most obliging letter, the plan of the 
Fort or Redoiil^t of Stoney Point, and the copy of your 
orders for the attack — \ou are pleased to consider 
what I said in my last letter on this subject as enco- 
miums — upon my word after having reflected again 
and again on the whole of the transaction, I have 
hardly done you justice — and I will venture to assure 
you that if you were desirous of entering into some of 
the great military services of Europe for instance the 
Imj)erial or Prussian, these testimonials must recommend 
you to the most honourable consideration — I declared 
to you that the applause this action drew from me, had 
not the least mixture of a design to form an interest on 
the continent and I once more assure you that it is not 
my wish to have any interest on the Continent as I am 
fully determined to leave it forever — I think I have 
been treated with cruelty and ingratitude it is true 
some of my Friends ttdl me that it is a common case in 
all countries and that if 1 will patiently wait, justice 
will be done to me — but as I find so great a proi)ensity 
in a People to whom I have sacrificed ev'ry thing, the 
greater part of my fortune ; my relations connexions 
and military pretentions ; I must confess I have not 
phylosophy suflicient to conquer the resentment boiling 
m my breast — I shall alway be a champion for the 
great righteous cause of American liberty — I shall 
always respect the virtue of her first Patiiots, and 
above all I shall never retract fi'om what I have always 
asserted, that of all Nations on earth the Americans 
when properly manufactured are the best Materials for 
soldiers and for the truth of this assertion some late 
events are strong confirmations and amongst these 
strong confirmations give me leave to say without 
flattery your affair of Stoney Point, stands foremost — 

[This draft is impcr/cct. At the top of the page is written apparently as 


the beginning of a date — what seems to he "Deer." A recent pencil en- 
dorsi'ment is beJow it: viz: "Gen. C. Lee to Gon. Wayne Oct 4***" [or 

From Benjamin Rush. 

My Dear Friend, 

I am distressed to think that all your friendly letters 
and messages to me have met with such ungrateful re- 
turns — I have written two letters to you. One of tliem 
was enclosed under a cover directed to Mr Wolfonl, & 
put into the post office — the other my little boy threw 
into the fire before I could hear of an opportunity of 
sending it — You see fi-om this, that I have not been un- 
mindful of you — You have wounded me in supposincf 
tliat I am carried away by the tide of the times. I 
would as soon be vsuspected of j)icking a pocket as of 
infidelity in friendship or of idolatry in politicks. 

Major Eustace informed me of your reply to Presid'. 
Keed's publication. Our printers refused to give it a 
place in their papers. It was best for you tliey did so. 
Have patience. Time, and posterity will do you jus- 
tice. The Summer flies that now din our ears must 
soon retire. Nothing but Virtue and real Abilities will 
filially pass muster when the public cool a little from 
the ferment into which the ixi'eat and sudden events of 
the late revolution have thrown us. I would rather be 
one of your [dogs J Aids, in a future history of the present 
war, than possess the first honors that are now current 
in America, with the real characters which I know 
some of our great men merit. Poor Pensylvania ! has 
become the most miserable spot upon the surface of the 
Globe. Our streets have been stained already with 
fraternal ])lood — a sad ]>relude we fear of the future 
mischiefs our Constitution will l)ring upon us. They 
call it a Democracy — a inobocracy in my opinion would 
be more proper. All our laws breath the spirit of town 
meetings, and porter shops — But I forget that I am not 


safe in committing my opinion of men and measures to 
paper — Oh ! liberty — liberty, 1 liave woi-shipped thee as 
a substance ! But — It is now near 12 oclock at night 
— and I am much fatigued with an unusual share of 
business (for in the true stile of the subject of a mon- 
arch my famil)*^ <fe my lousiness now engross all my 
time & attention my Country I have long ago left to 
the care of Tim^ Matlack — Tom Paine — Charles Wilson 
Peale <fe C"*) I must therefore bid you good night 
Wishing you at the same time all possible health and 
happines<», &> am My D' Lee 

Your sincere and affectionate old fi-iend 

[Benjamin Rush] 
Major Genl. Lee at 

Shepherds touTi, Berkeley County, Virginia. 
Phil*. October 24^ 1779. 

From Mks. Elizabeth Trist. 

Phila'*. October 25^ [1779.J 
Dear General, 

Believe me your suspicions of Eustace are with out 
foundation for to my certain knowledge he wrote seve- 
ral times and very long letters, and you a good deal 
surprise me when you declare having oidy rec"*. a note. 

Be assured you have not a friend on earth who re- 
gards you more than Eustace does and dares avow it 
too in every Company neither does he scruple calling 
Craig a Scoundrel and Hamilton perjui'ed, which I be- 
lieve is more than y'. fi'iends ever did notwithstanding 
the influence they have over you. I would w^ish not to 
contradict you, but I am convinc'd their opinions have 
and do sway you, and for a sensible Man you are 
the easiest impos'd on of any one I ever knew and tho 
you are nothing of a Courtier yourself yet you love flat- 
tery dearly and let any body commend your Oddity's 
(and you laiow you have enough of them) praise your 


Horses and Dogs particularly aS^^(9 and they may lead 
you where they please, excuse me for the liberty 1 take 
but you know I am ever ready to speak what I think, 
and I now do declare that I detest and abhor every be- 
ing on earth who wou'd cringe to oi' fawn on any Per- 
son in expectation of getting there Money and were you 
destitute of fortune those people wou'd be the last to 
notis you for 1 yet never heard of a poor Man that was 
troubled with ear wigs. I have shewn your letter to 
Jack make no doubt but he will again write and satis- 
iy you likewise acquaint you of all thats doing in this 
Quarter, Edwards is returned quite fat and hearty he 
has l)een with Sullivan alias Major Sturgeon who 
march'd with a large body of men round Hyde Park 
corner and took possession of a Pig Pen. I suppose 
you get the papers if so you will see an account of the 
grand expedition. I am in a great hurry but cant con- 
clude without signifying my disapprobation at being 
call'd Landlady for believe me I have not the least pre- 
tension to the title I doiit possess one foot of land nei- 
ther do I keep a Publick House. Mama is offended at 
the aj)pellation too she says she supposes you think we 
originated from the Court end of Wajypivg. I dare 
say you will not be very well pleased w^ith the contents 
of this letter for tis a little in the snarling order but I 
dont care for that, for if you Twist me so often as you 
do I \v ill stay Tape and Buchraia you every opportu- 
nity. But in spite of All of every Body and every 
Thing I am and 1 will be your frienci — Nov/rse has been 
111 with the fever which prevented me answering your 
letter, l)ut is recovering fast. Colonel Flemin and Lady 
are with us and join Mama in Wishing you every bap- 
pi u ess — Adieu — 

Eliza^ Trist. mind! 


From Joseph Nourse. 

Philadelphia 25^ Oct' 1779. 
Dear Sir, 

I thank you for those proofs contained in your Let- 
ter of the 1"*^ Inst, for I regard them as a true mark of 
y' friendship — You must consider that I have the 
duties of an office to e;cecute and that my business 
engrosses too much of my time from my friends ; l)ut I 
do assure you, that in future I shall endeavour to be 
more punctual in my Correspondence — altlio' I believe 
I may have written you lettei^s that never i*each'd you. 
Can you be so uncharitable as to conceive that because 
you are removed away from the busy world, that the 
services you formerly rendered this Country are buried 
in 01>livion ? That because you are a proscribed man, 
my Letters are either shorter or my regard less, than if 
you continued the favourite of Fortune? I am con- 
vinced you cannot, I do not think myself capable of 
such ingratitude — I am in pain to think y* you have 
ranked me amongst your ([uomlavi Coi-respondents, 
and more pai-ticularly so, that you do not think me 
consistent in my friendship. But my d"" Sir, cannot 
friends be of a different way of thinking on some points 
without the breach of friendship? how far this may be 
the case l)etwixt us I cannot pretend to say — it is very 
true, that we differ in opinion on some sul>jects, and 
that the sentiments I communicate are not so corre- 
spondent to your way of thinking, as some Letters that 
you may receive ; however, so long as I am honest <fe 
despise ilatteiy I think I act the Man and consistent 
with that friendship which I have always professed 
and I am sure General Lee's good sense will prevent 
any prejudices because my Sentiments are not to a 
tittle correspondent with his — I am sincere when I say 
that I am a witness of your having rendered important 
Services to this Country, that in the worst ot times 
you discovered the Warmest attachment to it, & it is 


with regret that I say j'our Services have not properly 
been considered. Yon have great reason to be out of 
temper, but I have always wished that setting aside 
personal enmities, the welfare of the Community should 
govern all. Now, if from your writings I discover 
anything that I may think have a different tendency, 
altho' not intenti<mally done, yet the consequences are 
the same, and therefore cannot correspond with niv 
sentiments — this does not prove that my friendship is 
inconsistent, if I acted otherwise I should prostitute 
my o])ini(m. and so far from acting the man, I should 
be a I'avscal. Major Eustice wrote you a very long let- 
ter some time ago, he pointed out the many difficulties 
he met with, anci that after all his endeavours he could 
not prevail U])on any Printer here . to publish your 
Papers — He lodges at Mrs. Houses — be be^'d me to 
permit him to retain 3500 dollars of the jMoney he 
received for the bills, at the same time promising me 
that he wou'd repay me at a moments Notice — I shall 
call upon him in a few days for the money, and I hope 
you'll excuse my granting him his request— I shall 
send if possible all the things you have written for by 
General Bull's waggon, with an account of the money 
— Mr. Gray has two thousand dollars for the payment 
of your taxes — Doctor Rush will write you a long let- 
ter, he feels like a friend for you, and whenever I meet 
him speaks of you most affectionately — Eustice will 
answer the Question respecting your Letter to M' 
Reed — That a pupil should improve under so good a 
master is to me little extraordinaiy ; the book you 
speak of, shall also be sent. M' Jay is gone to Spain 
to neirotiate a Treaty of Aniitv cfe Commerce. M"^ 
Adams is going to France, to wait a negotiation with 
England, M*" Carmichael a])pointed Secretary for Spain, 
M*" Dana for England — 2500 St. ^r^ annum for the 
former & £1000 sterling |? annum for the latter — M' 
Laurens is appointed to go to Holland to negotiate a 
Loan. The Treasury will be put in Connnission — I expect 
a continuance as dep. aud^ and as there is a prospect of 


a permanent support, shall probably devote myself to it. 
I send you the newspapers it is with pleasure I can 
certify to you that the Count has taken the Experiment, 
<fe a twenty gun Ship with the Transports at Savannah 
— Col. Maitland was attacked by a detachment of the 
Count D' Estaing's Army at Beaufort, but by cutting 
his way through a morass made his escape to Savannah. 
The Count landed five thousand men which with the 
Continental Troops & the Militia make our force in 
that (juarter near ten thousand strong — Prevost had 
secured himself in the town, the Count diffident of haz- 
arding an Assault intended to make regular approaches, 
and we flatter ourselv^es highly, that ne is now in pos- 
session of the town — I saw a letter to day from M'' 
M^'Henry one of General Washington's Secretaries, he 
informs that from the information lately received at 
head quarters they have every reason to expect a 
speedy evacuation of Rhode Island — General Sullivan 
has been fortunate in his expedition to the Westward 
— Upon the whole I think we have much reason to be 
thankful to the God of Armies who has so unmentedly 
bestowed so many favours upon us, that we are now 
blessed with unanimity amongst our a 

prospect of the chain binding us yet more strong. The 
greatest Consolation I find in this World is the nope of 
a better. I have lived long enough to know that Riches 
<fe Honours are inadequate to our Happiness & that the 
mind of man must have another support to prevent him 
acting unworthy of his Station, in fact I believe that the 
Account summed up is no more than that Riches & Hon- 
ours are vain, without Christianity, & that the Christian 
alone is the happy man — the Vanities, the Censures, & 
the Wickedness of the World he patiently bears, at a 
time that the Man of this World is rendered truly un- 
happy. That you may be happy both in this and another 
World is my Sincere prayer, & is the sincerest proof I 
can giv^e, that I am with much regard, D' General, 

Your constant & devoted friend 

Joseph Nourse. 
Vol. III.— 25 

386 tue lee papers. 

[From Brig. Gen. Robert HowkJ 

North Castle 30"* Oct' 1779. 

By a reproach in your Hand Writing in a letter of 
Major Eustace's dated long since but only lately re- 
ceived, I find my Dear Sir you have not got two lettei-s 
of mine one written from the Raritan in June last and 
one from in September this indeed you 

could not have received when Eustace wrote me. As 
my friendship for you was not founded upon the opi- 
nion of Either Private or j)ublick characters, it can 
neither receive encrease or suffer diminution by any 
Collateral Circumstances. It took its Rise from my 
own knowledge and opinion of you, and from a sympa- 
thy by which I found myself led to esteem you the 
moment I knew you, and which the opportunity of an 
intimate acquaintance has so firmly established that it 
will know no alteration unless by Encrease, and this I 
doubt not you do me the justice to believe Notwith- 
standing the hint you jocularly give me in your short 
paragraph. I have been 'till very lately on a separate 
Command next the Enemies lines, their adopting a 
Defensive Plan put it out of my power to call them 
forth tho' I frequently endeavoured it — All then that 
was in my power, was to keep them in a Constant state 
of alarm to drive in their small parties whenever they 
come out &> to cover the Country, and this I flatter my- 
self has been effectually done. Some sprightly things 
have been done by small Parties of mine. Col**. White 
went many miles within their lines, brought of several 
Prisoners, took forty Horses, had action for a consider- 
able time with superior numbers those he 
had taken, and is highly honoured by the Enemy for 
his spirit and conduct. Lieut. Gill on a Patrolling 
Party with Horse was surrounded by a large body of 
the Enemy's Horse, he had nothing for it but to cut 
his way or surrender, he nobly resolved upon the 


former which he executed with the gallantry of a good 
soldier — he had no sooner freed himself from these 
than he found a considerable number of Infantry in 
his front — he charged them with such address and 
Vigour that he broke thro' them with the loss only of 
two men, but when he thought all was over and was 
Huzzaing for his Success an accidental shot from a 
straggling soldier brought down his horse and he was 
taken ! His Party however was saved before it hap- 
pened, the Enemy treat him with particular distinction, 
and by a Flag have given him great applause. I 
an adventure over upon Long Island in the neighbour- 
hood of a Post, this Major Tallmadge conducted 

destroyed a number of Boats they had collected, 
brought off 

[Tiij remainder of this letter is wanting.] 

[From Joseph Nouese.] 

Philadelphia 20 Nov. 1779- 
Dear General, 

Your Orders Counter nuimliiig tlie former onUrs I 
received too late, as I hope by this time you are well 
acquainted with & that the several Articles viz : the 
wine, the Rum, the Sugar, the Coffee the Chocolate, 
the Coffee pot &.&. and the Cloth^ have all been re- 
ceived. You have no doubt called me a fool ten thou- 
sand timers for sending you the Cloth, but you must con- 
sider that I came within the Law against forestalling & 
monopolizing, and that as I conducted you did not want 
the money immediately, & that a Chap might offer, of 
the two ciifRculties I had to encounter I thought I chose 
the least — send them back again by General Bulls wag- 
gon, the Carriage will be ver}^ trifling, cfe they will be 
under the care of a good man, and 1 can sell them to 
advantage. I am astonished at M' Eustaces conduct. 
I believe necessity must plead in his favour, he promised 


that he would write to you and satisfy you upon the 
subject — he is gone to Cha* Town, where he hopes to 
avail himself of the advantage of a flag and go into 
New Yoi'k, to see his uncle who I understand has money 
of M' E. in his hands. Genl. Bull tells me he has en- 
quired, but has been disappointed — including the Money 
]\r Eustace has, I believe bur Accounts are nearly bal- 
anced — & the state of my finances (for since I com- 
menced House keeper I have been extnemely poor) is 
such, that I have not above an hundred dollars left. 

I hope you will be more comfortable in the lower 
parts of Virginia than in Berkeley — Some of the Vir- 
ginians are not so contracted in their Sentiments nor so 
greatly wrapped up in their Deliverer as to refuse you 
hospitality, they have given marks of their Liberality 
upon former Occasions, and I hoj)e you will experience 
it upon this Occasion, however, 1 will suppose you are, 
as 1 wish you to be, independent of the frowns of a 
wicked world. 

If you disapprove of my conduct with respect to my 
lending Eustace money, 1 must be a sufferer if you in- 
sist u])on it, but I do assure you at the time I permitted 
him to retain it, that I tnou2;ht your partiality so 
strong, that you would have oljliged him on the spot. 
I do not know the state of his affairs, but I believe he 
is a young man of too much Honour to do anything 
wrong. He was much distressed and told me he would 
write to you on the subject — Pray when shall we see 
you in Philadelphia ? Doctor Rush sent you a Letter 
the week before last, I thought it best to enclose it in 
mine. I send you the Papers — as to Politicks I do not 
know much about them — some are of an opinion that 
Peace will be brought about this Winter the baron de 
Kalb (who some people allow to be as well acquainted 
with the Politicks of Europe) writes to a friend in town 
that we shall have a very sudden Peace, and that New 
York will l)e evacuated this Winter — the departure of 
the Troops from Rhode Island leaving their Hay their 
Wood & Clothing for the Poor, has caused much specu- 


lation. Do you think we shall have a speedy Peace — 
the Chev'' de Luzerne has been introduced — Congress re- 
ceived him very politely, their Addresses are in the 
Paper — Adieu I shall send you the clover seed if to be 
had altho I may run in debt for the money & a long 
letter by G. Bull 

From Micuael Dowdell, 

Yorktovvn November 19*^ 1779. 
Dear Sir, 

The Eleventh day of this Instant November I received 
a letter from you, to me directed, dated the fourth day 
of Sej)tember, which Letter came to me as if it had 
been opened three or four times I also rec** it open. 

The Contents of the Letter contains mostly on a re- 
exchange between the horse and Mare we Changed for 
some time agoe, you likewise mention to me that I ought 
to be ashamed of giving you the horse again for the 
Mare, and to ask hard money to boot — Dear Sir, I mean 
it not in such a Light, but had the Mare the Colt yet 
living, I would freely reexchange without saying one 
Word but would say — (lone. 

If you again fancy the horse though had partly sold 
him Just before I received your favours for thirty half 
Joes — and if you will permit me to ask or demand the 
value of the Colt, which is twenty eight Guineas I 
value at, though the real worth thereof to contain a 
great deal more, out of which twenty eight Guineas I 
allow the Number of Guineas you gave me to boot to 
be deducted, provided always that the Mare still to be 
in good order, and without hurt or failing as you re- 
ceived her of me — however a few Guineas will not make 
much difference between you and me. 

The horse I have in Glorious fine Order, and have 
had Exceeding great Trouble, to get him in such Trim, 
have also on account of your Letter made Null and 
Void the Bai'gain of Sale partly concluded upon as 


above mentioned untill such times I shall have the 
Pleasure to obtain a few Lines in answer to this. 

You also mentioned in yours that you had Avritten 
some papers in the cause of tlie Oppressed part of the 
People of Pennsylvania to the Printers to be Inserted 
in the Papers, but depend upon it, that nothing of such 
kind will ever be printed in News Papers for fear of 
Opening the Eyes of others, who are continually lulled 
to sleep. The Assembly of Pennsylvania have passed 
an Act lately, that if the Militia are called, and those 
who do not turn out in Defence, that at the Discretion 
of the Sub-Lieutenant to find such delinquent from one 
hundred to one thousand pounds — smart State Law in- 
deed for Sons of Lil)erty frequently and the General 
discourse mentioned. 

The Wheat in our parts here, have lately risen to 
twenty pounds and but little can be bought for that 
price — Ry^i to thirteen pounds, Indian Com ten pounds, 
a Cord of Oak Wood to ten pounds — Ye freedom Sons 
— help yourselves and get hard Si)ecie w^here you can. 

By fi^ood Authority am Informed that about Schuyl- 
kill n heat was at thirty pounds, and have advertized 
such Price for it, it is expressed it will raise to one 
hundred Dollars |? Bushel before Spnng, Pork rates 
20/. i^ H. Beef @ 1 2/0— the Great Lamentations of 
poor People is admirable I am afraid that some poor 
Family's will near starve, whose Cases are to be pittied. 

Good Course Allum Salt, rates at Eighty pounds ^ 
Bushel with us — cut and dry — coffee at twelve dollars 
^r^ H. <fe Sugar at Six dollars, the Speculators have every 
Advantage in their own hands. 

About the Savannah and Georgia Expedition, the 
News, will not much relate. I am of opmion, that it 
has not turned out to Expectation the Countenance of 
Whigs seems to be rather down about it. 

If you agreeable to my sentiments in part of the f ore- 
c^oing Paragraphs, would fancy the horse. If you Imme- 
(liately with one of your Tiaistees send the Mare in good 
Order — with the Money I will directly with such Per- 


son or Persons by whom you send deliver tlie horse, if 
I see the Mare & like her — two or three Guineas will 
make no manner of Difference between us. 

If you sliould not approve of my Proposals you will 
please to favour me with a few Lines which direct to 
lialser Gull Hatter in Hagers Town, fi'om whence it 
will be forwarded Immediately. 

I am Sir, with Great Esteem 

Your veiy hble Servt 

Michael Dowdell. 
Genl. Chas. Lee 

at Porto Rio, Virginia. 

Fkom Major John S. Eustace. 


M". Trist & M". Nourse have shewn me their letters 
from you — and very sorry am I Genl. Lee that my stip- 
posed inattention should be their principal purport. 

My own feelings, was all I ever promised or wish'd 
for, to coimter-ballance the anxiety I've had on your 
account — and if due credit only was given me for the 
quarrels I've engaged myself in, from my fix'd and de- 
termiu'd attachment to your character and honor — I 
should have been perfectly happy — ^The sychopliant will 
ever gain the ascendancy over the disinterested cliaracter^ 
and since this has long since been my opinion — I can- 
not say I was so much surprized as chagrin\l at the 
declarations of your letter to Nourse. 

I've ever considered you Sir, as the most exalted and 
independent Patriot on this Continent — I've ev^er ad- 
mired your superior uuderstanding, and beheld you in 
every instance^ as a strictly good, great, and honest man 
— fi'om these reasons. Sir, have I taken the liberty of 
joining myself to the sliort catalogue of your friends — 
<k these reasons will preserve my attachment to you — 


My private affection <fe esteem for you, is perfectly de- 
pendent on your behaviour to me — but my public and 
avow'd enthusiasm for you can never cease — while I am 
bless'd with existence — twenty letters (moderately 
speaking) have I written to you — 'twas not convenient 
for me to be the bearer of each myself, and therefore 
in writing and putting them into to (what I rather 
wish'd than believ'd) a safe conveyance, I did every- 
thing in my power. 

Conscious of this you will readily suppose I was not 
a little mortified at your credulity — I wish you were 
better acquainted with me Sir, and you would know 
that was my fortune as independent as my disposition 
I shou'd be the most wealthy personage on earth. If 
you Sir, have ever committed yoxxv paternal declarations 
to paper, erase them, and then put my passion for you 
to any tryall you please, and if every part of my con- 
duct is not pregnant with determined attachment to you, 
then and not till then, inveigh against me. 

Tomorrow I shall sett out for Camp as A D Camp to 
M^ Reed — tliere is a probability of something being 
done, and as it may be the last, I am resolved to make 
one more pluck at the Laurell bush. I shall write you 
by every Conveyance and if my good stars permit me 
to return — I shall hope to see you. 

From the Same. 

Philadelphia, November 28"^ 79. 
My deakest Friend, 

I acknowledged the recei})t of your letter (enclosing 
my mother's and sister's) a day or two ago — and now 
I've to reply to yours for M". Trist. 

I need not assure you of the happiness that declara- 
tion respecting myself afforded me : or of the uneasi- 
ness your disapprobation of any part of my conduct 
occasioned. I conceive it a duty incumbent on me Sir, 


to remove any unfavorable impressions consequent to 
my appointment in the family of M''. Reed. 

I still retain an honorable Commission in the United 
States service — and nearly ten months have elapsed, 
since I have been on the active theatre — and my remo- 
val from the military line has, by different persons, 
been ascribed to different causes — However great my 
contempt for the opinion of the world may be (in tlieir 
present state of corruption & vice) I yet received some 
uneasiness fi'om the 111 natured whispers, which were 
circulating in this infernal hole — and when the Count 
was expected at New Yoi-k, and 'twas generally immag- 
ined an attack wou'd certainly take place, I was san- 
guine as to believe we shou'd be successful, and of course 
thought it wou'd be the last opportunity I shou'd have 
of repeating my efforts in this glorious struggle. I had a 
rivetted aversion to the whole Tribe of General officei*s 
(S*. Clair & Gates excepted) and had detennined to 
attach myself to some good corps in capacity of a vol- 
unteer — nowever M"*. Reed sent for and requested me 
to act as an aid in his suite — I knew him to be a dis- 
tinguished soldier — indeed I was particularly partial to 
his military character and chearfully embraced that 
occasion of making one more grasp at the Laurell 

M'. Reed, Sir, and every other person in^ and near, 
Philadelphia are conscioxm of my unchangeable enthu- 
siasm for your honor (f- welfare. Tliey ivho differ loith 
me in opinion respecti^ig you {either from the dictates 
of interest^ stupidity, or fashion^ liave nevei* inade your 
conduct {before me) the subject of conversation, and if 
they had, I can promise you, I shou'd at least have been 
impudent to them. 

I met Hambleton the other day in company witli the 
favourite Green the Di^nhard Stirling, and their seve- 
ral classes of attendants — He advanced towards me, on 
my entering the room with presented hand — I took no 
notice of his polite intention, but sat down, without 
bowing to him or any of the clan — (It happen'd to be 


at the Q'. M'. Genei*als oflSce at Morristown) he then 
ankcHl me if I was come fi'om Camp — I say'd, m(yi*tly^ no, 
without the usual application of Sir, rose from my chair 
— left the room and him standing before tlie chair. I 
con'd not treat him much more rudely — I've repeated 
my suspicions of his veracity on the tryall so often that 
I exj)ect the son of a bitch will challenge me when he 

If he does he will find me as unconcern'd as he can 
})ossibly be anxious. 

Yesterday your two letters reach'd me in one of 
which you've fully gratified my inclination resj>ecting 
the &L mare and for which I am much obliged to 

I have had an interview with my unkle at Staten 
Island — He treated me with extreme politeness and 
urges the propriety of taking a trip with him to Eng- 
land. I confess my own inclination tends strongly to a 
compliance with this proposition — but I shoud first 
wish to have your assent and sentiments therecm — 'Tis 
a step, on which there is too much depending to be has- 
tily undertaken — and I must beg you to write me — 

Little Nourse permitted me to retain five and thirty 
hundred dollars in my hand, to make a piu'chase with — 
He call'd on me t'other day for it — I told him, I wou'd 
make sale of the articles I had bought and pay it to him 
in the course of a few days. He say'd he had not men- 
tioned the matter to you and beg'd me to do it in the let- 
ter I was then writing and sending open by him — and the 
next day told me he nad received a letter from you, pur- 
porting your intention of drawing cm him for it imme- 
diately — I pay'd him the money by disposing of a Horse 
I had for sale, in preference to selling off the Goods 
I'd to dispose of, as they are increasing in price dayly. 
But I'm exceeding angiy at his desiring me to trouble 
you on the subject, when he himself with equal stupidi- 
ty had \vTote you before — for I told him at the time I 
got it — if you call on me at a time when I have not the 
money in my possession I will remove that inconve- 


nience by selling this horse immediately. This I did 
and the debt's discharged. 

Oh General, have you wrote to Major Cuthbeii, or 
not i I'm truly anxious to know — as the happiness of 
the family rests solely (almost) on your decision. 

Our worthy friend Genl. Gates will hand you this — 
He tells me you are on a visit to sweet Potomac : I'm 
glad of it — the present season is rather too cold for 
your icy walls, and had you passed the fall wdtliin 
them the consequences might have been disagreeable — 
How soon I shall see you is my dear friend very uncer- 
tain — However I mil strain a point to visit you imme- 
diately after Christmas. 

This letter I began a fortnight ago, and for want of 
a Conveyance kept it ever since, and have made occa- 
sional additions to it. 

I shall not leave Phil', 'till I set out for Prato Rio 
so you may be assured of hearing from me constantly — 
y"*. eternally 

J. S. Eustace. 

Decemb^ 12'*^ 79. 

Genl. Lee. 

Fro3i Major Eustace to Thomas Lee. 

Phila: Dec^ 12th 1779. 

Don't imagine Tom that I have remeinhered to forget 
yon. If writing to you my dear, can afford you any 
satisfaction believe me I need no other inducement and 
in future a letter for you shall accompany each one I 
address to my best of friends. 

If I had not forgot the particulars of your memoran- 
dum I shou'd embrace this ppportunity of forwarding 
them — therefore in your next re-mention them and I will 
carefully procure them. The sum I received from you 
will not purchase much at the present exorl)itant prices 
of articles — but as the money has depreciated at leaM 


a liundred p''. C*. since I borrowed I make good to you 
the deficiency, and should y'^, memorandum evtr exceed 
that, I'll forward the whole and we can adjust our ac- 
counts at some future period. 

This I 8up[)ose will find you at Prato Rio after your 
return from Potomac — if so pray let me know how all 
my friends are generally and particularly God bless 
you my boy — adhere strictly to the advice of your ex- 
cellent monitor and you've my assurance & oraisons for 
your success in every literary attempt 

J. S. Eustace. 
Have you got my Buckle — let me know. 

Tom Lee. 

From Major Joux S. Eustace. 

Philadelphia, December 13^ 1779. 

This accompanies a long letter, with, Avhich you 
shou'd not have been troubled, had I {before this ino- 
ment) been made acquainted with the circumstance, 
whicli gives birth to the one, I am at present writing. 

I waited on General Gates this morning with the let- 
ter he is charged with. He told me you were gone 
down the country, and there was no probability of its 
meeting a conveyance. I however beg'd him to take 
and forward it when convenient He ask'd me, " If I 
were not on bad terms with General Lee " — I told liini 
I 8uj)posed not — because, says he " Nourse tells me you 
borrowed some money of Gen. Lee — and the General 
w^as so exceedingly angry at its being lent you, that he 
ordered Nourse to get it immediately for he Avou'd 
rather have it thrown into the river, than Eustace shou'd 
have it." In the first place General Lee, M'. Nouree was 
guilty of an unnecessary piece of conduct in mention- 
ing the matter to you, as he cou'd have got it returned 
immediately upon application, as I was determined 


to sell a horse f o r the payment of it, if I had not the 
money when he calFd upon me — and when he did call 
and said you were to draw on him for it — I told him 
he might have the Horse for the same price I asVdfm' 
him \nhen I horrow\l the money ^ as the most equitable 
mode of adjusting the debt — or I wou'd sell him at 
vendue, or hs might take him for sale, if he sold for 
more than the sum, he shou'd refund the overplus, if 
for less I would make it up — he assented to the propo- 
sal, took the Horse, and paid me the remainder — Now, 
what business Master Nourse had to gab])le this matter 
to General Gates I can't conceive, and if he does not 
give me a satisfactory reason, I'll give him a most in- 
fernal Horsewhipping by G — . 

M". Nourse is a good, honest, clever little fellow — 
yet I do not comprehend the necessity of writing in 
such a stile to M"*. Noui'se of me — nor 1 shall Sir ever 
again suffer it — I've ever thought and said Sir, that Jiad 
you, your 2)assio?is tuider a perfect conimand, as they 
have you^ there wou'd not be your equal on earth — 
But T am perfectly tired of having my peace of mind 
disturbed by the daily alterations in your temper — I 
therefore am determined to withdraw myself fi'om their 
influence. I've no idea faith of battling your cause, 
on eveiy occasion with civil and military, adding to 
the number of my own Enemies, and then to have my 
exertions compensated for, by repeated abuse of me, 
in letters to snotty-nosed clerks and interested syco- 

To your friendship Sir, I bid adieu — of every con- 
nexion with you — I take leave with a painful kind of 

ls\^ present dispute on your account — I must pursue 
if my oppontiit pleases — even to the field — but in fu- 
ture General Lee and Major Eustace are perfectly dis- 
united, and tho' the little J>uppy has gratified his incli- 
nation, by accomplishing the difference I'll give him 
such a correction as will at least counterl)nlance his 


I sincerely Sir wisli you all the health, honor and 
happiness I ever did — and if ever personal danger, is 
requisite to remove those clouds whicli malevolence is 
ever fomiing, I will still cheerfully encounter it. 

John Skey Eustace, 

To Miss Sidney Lee. 

Prato Rio in Virginia, Dec' 15^*" 1779. 

My D" Sister, 

I wrote to you a letter two months ago, but as in the 
present circumstances of affairs there are a thousand 
risks that a letter will not arrive, I think proper to 
send you a duplicate. Your letter from Chester, dated 
Jan^ the 23^ came safely to my hands : in the course 
of tliis and the last year, I wTote to you two letters in- 
forming you of the state of my health and spirits, the 
tw^o points which I know from your natural affection 
and tenderness you must be most solicitous abcmt. 
They have l)()th, thank heaven, never failed me a single 
day, and luitil I am conscious of having committed 
some unworthy action (which I can assure you is not 
at present the case) the ini(piity of men shall never bear 
me down. I have, it is true, uneasy feelings, but not 
on my o\vn j)ersonal account; I feel for the ravages 
and devastations of this Continent, and the ruin of thou- 
sands of worthy individuals; I feel for the empire of 
Great Britain, for its glory, welfare, and existence. T 
feel for tlie fortunes of my relations and friends, which 
may receive a dreadful shock in this convulsion. I have 
been accused of making it my study, and perverting all 
the talents I am master of, to involve my country in the 
ruinous situation she now is in : you know, all my cor- 
res})ondent8 and ac(|uaintance know, how false this im- 
putation is. I will not enter into political retrospections, 
as it is pi'obable my letter wall be opened before it 


reaches you, but I hope I may safely appeal to the su>)- 
stance and spirit of the letters which the public have 
already seen, for the integrity of my intentions. I mean 
the letters addressed to Liord Piercy and General Bur- 
goyne, wherein I prophesyed the fatal events that have 
followed. I cannot help lamenting that another which 
I wrote to General Gage (wherein 1 laboured to o})en his 
eyes) was not publish'd. I j>er8onally lov'd the man, 
but he has much to answer for, not less I will venture 
to say, than the blood of one hundred thousand English- 
men, or the immediate descendents of Englishmen ; but 
he has to answer also for the subversion of the mighty 
fabrick of the British Empire ; but I am running un- 
awares into politics, the subject it is my business to 
keep clear of. You express a concern for my personal 
honour : as I suppose you allude to the afEair of Mon- 
mouth, all I shall say is that, as I believe the proceed- 
ings of the Court have been sent to England, and as 
you have eyes to read, and judgment to make com- 
ments, I may be entirely easy on that subject ; but as 
it may possibly happen that these curious records may 
never fall into your hands, be assured of this, my Dr 
Sister, that if the transactions of that day were to pass 
over again, there is no one step I took which I would 
not take again, and that there is no one measure I 
adopted which will not stand the test of the severest 
military critics, and in point of spirit, of the most en- 
thusiastic grenadier ; so once more, I conjure you to be 
at ease on this subject, as I have from the l)eginning. 
I have now only to beg my love to all my relations and 
particular friends, to tiie ***&"" &° 

God bless you, my D' Sydney, send you long life and 
uninterrupted spirits ; this is most devoutly the })rayer 
of your most affectionate Brother 

Charles Lee. 


To Major General Gates. 

Prato Rio Dec' ye 19*^ 1779. 
My Dr. Gates, 

I liave written to yon, I snppose, at least half a dozen 
letters but have never receiv d the least scrap of an 
answer, which I attribute to the difficulty oi finding 
means, rather than to any failure in your Friendship. 
You, I understand are coming up, I unfortunately am 
going dow^n the Country for the winter, and shall not 
return but with the Sw^allows, so that I shall not have 
the pleasure of abV)orching (to use a French Term) for 
some time, which I sincei'ely regret as I have many 
things to communicate to you veiy interesting to our 
pul)iic and private affairs — With respect to the first, 
They are in my opinion in a most hornble situation. 
We have neither money nor credit nor reputation — the 
failure of the crops aggravates the wretchedness of our 
j)ro8])ect — but these considerations, alarming as they 
are, are still not so hideous as the glaring want of 
every republican quality and idea manifested thi'ough 
the majority of the States — Of all People on earth the 
People of America (I mean the middle States) are the 
most wretchedly qualify'd for the mode of government 
ad(>i)ted — the project of making excellent raisors out of 
the l>luntest wood, wou'd not be more absurd than a 
plan of Republican Governments in these Countries — the 
press is entirely stoppVl, and that degree of freedom of 
conversation that is admitted at Constantinople is not 
tolerated in Virginia Maryland or Pennsylvania — the 
morals of the People are entirely corrupted, to so great 
a degree indeed, that when two Neighbours meet, each 
kee])s his hand on his pocket, if there is anything in it, 
lest it shou'd be pick'd by the other — in short virtue 
which is the foundation and sine qua non of Republics 
has taken her departure and left not a wreck behind — 
What w ill you say is to be done ? — in my judgment 
there is only one measure which leads to salvation — - 


and this is, I care not who knows my sentiments, to 
propose to the English General (who it is said has full 
powers) a cessation of arms by sea and land for three, 
tour, or six years — and that during this cessation each 
Party should hold undisturb'd what at present She is 
possession of — the French from what I have seen of 
the Treaty cannot complain of this measure as a viola- 
tion of faith — and America will have time to look 
about her to examine and consider, the state of her 
resources in men provisions Maritime force and revenue 
— but aVjove all tne quantity of those virtues which are 
requisite for federate republican Governments — If they 
have the sufficient quantum of virtue the system 
adopted may be adher'd to ; if They have not They 
may take their choice of a Protector, whether France 
or England — but to quit public speculations and come 
to our own ; I am confident as I am of my own existence, 
that it is the determin'd purpose of that dark designing 
sordid ambitious vain proud arrogant and vindictive 
knave W : to remove me from the face of the earth by 
assassination direct or indirect, and to ruin your fame 
and fortunes forever — ^for my own part, who have no 
family, and am tired of this rascally Planet, I am in- 
different when the stroke is struck — but you who 
have a wife and child, you, I say ought, to take your 
precautions — but to descend from this very serious tone 
to another tho' far from imserious You have My Dr 
Gates, an only son, who I think without compliments 
has exceeding good parts and a better disposition — 
Can you answer it to yourself in suffering those few 
years of capability of acquiring the knowledge of a 
Man and Gentleman being thrown away ? He is at 
present Aid de Camp to his Mother, Mason, Mawler of 
rails, fatter of Hogs and everything but what he should 
be an indefatigable Candidate for the attainments neces- 
sary to qualify him for the Son of General Gates, as I 
sincerely love and esteem jou I wou'd have propos'd 
(but I knew it wou'd be m vain) to take him under 
iny tuition pro temp(yre — I cou'd have at least under 
Vol. HL— 26 


taken to have made liim, in some measure, a Latin and 
English Scholar — this I know is a tender subject; I 
ought perhaps to make an apology for my freedom, 
and must request you will not communicate it to your 
Wife, who, sensible as She is, is still, like Harry Piercy's 

fentle Kate, a Woman have you got my fine 
lare from Bradford ? I hope you have and will bring 
her up — My love to that excellent young man Arm- 
strong, to your Pole, to Mons. Clergeon — & a toute la 
Cour de votre Excellence — Adieu — God bless you — 

C. Lee. 

Direct to me under cover to James Hunter, Esq, near 
Fredericksburg — if Edwards falls in your way, I beg 
you will shew him all the civilities in your power. 

From Col. Eleazer Oswald. 

Poughkeepsie, 24 December 1779. 
Dear General, 

I flatter myself that you will not charge me with be- 
ing deficient in point of attention to you when I assure 
you that my silence hitherto has not arisen fi'om a want 
of that Esteem & inspect which I shall always enter- 
tain for your character, but from a combination of the 
most untoward Events, which have been excessively 
embarrassing both to M' Goddard & myself as well as 
ruinous to our concern. As a Nairative of the Difficul- 
ties we have had to encounter since our Connexion 
(which commenced almost at the very instant of the 
Publication of the unfortunate Queries) cannot but 
excite disagreeable Sensations in a mind possessed of 
your sensibility, I sliall therefore wave a detail — but 
on the supposition that you are not totally unacquainted 
with our Misfortunes, I take the Liberty of referring 
ou for particulars to M' Goddard, who, perhaps, will 
e the Bearer of this, as he is determined to make you 



a Visit — Nothing would afford me greiater pleasure at 
this Time than to accompany him, but my present re* 
mote Situation is an insuperable Obstacle to that Satisr 
faction. He has been proceeded against ^vith the most 
unmanly resentment by an execrable Junto who infest 
the Town of Baltimore, because he has dared to act 
with the Freedom and Spirit of an honest man. The 
persecution & Insults wliich were administered to him 
by scoundrels in power (both legal & usui-ped) in his 
different applications for Justice, and in support of the 
Blessings of a free-press, are unpai'alleled in a free Coun- 
try — Yet, notwithstanding, I trust the Period will arrive 
when he will obtain the fullest satisfaction — the ^People 
of America be convinced that some of their most meri- 
torious servants havel)een treated with glaring Injustice 
& black Ingratitude — and that their preservation does 
NOT depend on one Man. This Sentiment would be 
highly treasonable if advanced within the verge of an 
idolatrous Sett of " Toad-Eaters,'^ who surround & in- 
fluence almost all our public Councils both in the Cabi- 
net and in the Field — but such is the Temper of the 
Times that every one who does not join the present pre- 
vailing spirit of Servility, nmst be hunted out of society, 
by a Pack of Hounds, in human Shape, not endowed 
with half the Humanity of your faithful Spado, or lajy- 
dog Argos — I mean no reflection on those two honest 
domestic Quadi-upeds. 

You have, no doubt, a pi'oper Idea of the detestable 
Spirit of Tyranny, which demonstrated itself in the 
Town of Baltimore, and in the City of Philadelphia, on 
the appearance of the Queries (and which unfortunately 
for a Country who are contending for Freed(yni,&L Virtue^ 
is still permitted to diffuse itself among all ranks of 
People) and will I hope exert your abilities in crushing 
the norrid Daemon, as well as in restoring the People of 
this Continent to their Reason, thro' the channel of a 
free Press, which M'' Goddard and myself are deter- 
mined to support at every risque, as soon as our Ma- 
terials shall arrive (and which we hourly expect) from 


I shall be extremely happy to hear from you when- 
ever you have Leisure and Inclination to honor me with 
a Line or Two — You doubtless have many Friends who 
require your attention in this respect, but I can with 
Truth add, that you have none who tenders you his 
Friendship with more sincerity, or who is more fully 
convinced of the Injustice and Ingratitude with which 
you have been treated — ^And altho the absurd Sentence 
IS overpast, yet the same mean and vindictive spirit 
which directed your prosecution is still opposed to you ; 
but I hope, you will, in the Sequel obtain a complete 
Triumph over all your Persecutors, 

I am, with eveiy Sentiment of Respect and the most 
sincere attachment 

Dear General, 

Your affectionate Friend, 

Eleazeb Oswald. 

N.B, Should you be disposed to write me, please to 
enclose it to Miss Goddard at the Post Office in Balti- 

To the Hon. Major General Lee, 

at his seat in Berkeley C Virg* 

(Recommend fed to] the particular Care of M' James 
Smith, Mercht. m Frederick Town.) 

Baltimore, Feb. 4th. 1780. 

Rec and forwarded by Sir, 

Your most obt. & most humble Serv* 

W. Goddard. 



To THE President of Congress. 

Berkeley County. 

I understand that it is in contemplation of Congress, 
on the principles of economy, to strike me out of their 
service. Congress must know very little of me if they 
suppose that I would accept of their money since the 
confirmation of the wicked and infamous sentence 
which was passed upon me. 

I am Sir, your most obedient servant, 

Charles Lee. 

P. S. Excuse my not writing in my own hand, as it 
is wounded. 

The Hon. President of Congress, Philadelphia. 

From James Lovell to Gen. Gates. 

22nd of January 1780. 
Dear Sir, 

Your Favors of Dec"" 30^**- and Jan^ 9 are before me, 
valuable proofs of your friendly Confidence in my 
honest zeal for the rublic Good. The news papers 
which ]VP McAllaster will deliver you contain many 
Speculations upon the subject of Currency ; but of all, 
Peletiah Webster bears the Bell in last Thursdays 
publication of 2 letters. 

We are aiming at a Curtail of Expence by Inspectoi*s 
to visit & break up unnecessary Posts in the Staff 
Departments, and reduce the Number of Officers ; and 
also to lessen the number of Horses &, Waggons in the 
Army. In short we are beginning to do many Things 
that ought to have been done a year ago. 
. We have no Money now to squander upon A, B, C, 

406 TH£ LWL l>Ai>£BS. 

<fe all the Letters of the Alphabet under the sole Re- 
striction of " he to be accountable." 

We have Letters from France to the end of Sep' but 
nothinfif material. A. Lee was then at Paris. On the 
10^** a Vote was carried that Major Gen^ Charles Lee 
be informed that Congress have no farther Occasion for 
his Services in the Army of the United States." 5 
ayes 4 noes 3 divide It was upon reading the follow- 
ing Letter which, in my opinion is forged — 

[^Ilere folloios a copy of the preceding letter J\ 

I shall have a better Opportunity of writing by Co^ 
Bull I hope — I mean that I shall be less in haste. 

Present my affectionate Compliments to your Lady 
&> Son, and be assured of my most hearty Kegards to 

James Lovell. 

You should hav^e mentioned the N*' of the Journals 
which you carried with you I suppose I have gone far 
enough back. By Col. Butler Iwill send what may 
be farther printed. 

1780 wnll be given out Monthly yfiihout yeas & 

From James Nourse to Gen. Gates. 

Tuesday 25^ Jany. 1780. 
My Dear Sir 

So severe as the weather has been if Roberts had 
come to me to have overlooked the feeding my stock 
I would have taken a peep at you, but without con- 
stant attendance my people would have froze e'er they 
would have warmed themselves at work tho' al>8olutely 
necessaiy to keep my stock alive <fe themselves. & us 
in firewood — Being just naked for shirts and shifts 
both Wife & self cte having money by me which I 


feared was depreciating every day. I made this day 
sennight a forced march to Winchester — where I paid 
75 dol ^ yard for a 2/ linen — This I remark to you as I 
hope in God 'tis' come to a Crisis. I met there Gen^ 
Lee — in conversation for we lodged at the same inn he 
told me that his answer to a member of Congress who 
had wrote advising him not to take his pay was — That 
every one that knew him could not suppose he would 
after the usage he had received. And yet I have good 
foundation to believe that he is drawing his provender 
at least for his horses from the Commissaiy there, he 
told me he purposed boarding there till the Spring. 

I shall be very sorry if our Assembly have given the 
enemy any reason to expect a disagreement as it may 
encourage a perseverance — but am inclined to think 
they are often misunderstood, nor am I convinced there 
is not as much virtue among them as in their sister — 
nay in their Sister Northern States — As Robei'ts came 
yesterday I shall see you in a few days. My wife is 
much out of order or she would write to Mrs Gates — 
She loves you both <fe longs to see- you — & I am 
Dear Sir, with great esteem, i ours 

James Nouese. 

To THE President of Congress. 

Berkeley county, January 30*** 1780. 

I have this day received your letter, with my dismis- 
sion from the service of the United States ; nor can I 
complain of it as an act of injustice. The greatest 
respect is indisputably due to every public body of men, 
and above all to those who are the representatives and at 
the same time the legislature of a free people ; and I 
ingenuously confess that the note which I dictated was 
so far fi'om being dressed in terms properly respectful, 
that they were highly improper, disrespectful and even 
contumacious. But altho' I do not mean to justify 


the measure, I flatter myself I shall be able to extenu- 
ate the offensi veness by relating the circumstances which 
gave birth to it I unfortunately, Sir, received letters 
from two friends, whose zeal for my service was greater 
than their intelligence was authentic, informing me that 
the same men who by art and management had brought 
about in a thin house the confirmation of the absurd 
and iniquitous sentence of the court-martial, were deter- 
mined to pursue the matter still further, and on the 
j)retence of cecononiy to make a motion for the final 
removal of me from the army as an incumbrance. It 
happened that at the very moment these letters came 
to my hands, I was very much indisposed, so as not to 
be able to write myself, and at the same time my horses 
were at the door to carry me dowTi the countiy, where 
business called me. The bodily pain I was in, joined 
to the misinformation I I'eceivea, ruffled my temper be- 
yond all bounds ; and the necessity of setting out im- 
mediately prevented me giving myself time to consider 
of the propriety oi' impropriety of what I was about ; 
and thus these two circumstances concuiTing gave birth 
to the note which I dictated, which no man can more 
sincerely reprobate than I do myself, and for which 1 
most sincerely beg pardon of the Congress. But, Sir, I 
must intreat that m thus acknowledging the impropriety 
and indecorum of my conduct in this affair, it may not 
be supposed that I mean to court a restoration to the 
rank I held ; so far from it, that I do assure them, had 
not this incident fallen out, I should have requested 
Congress to have accepted of my resignation, as fi-om 
obvious reasons, whilst the army is continued in its pre- 
sent circumstances, I could not have served with safety 
and dignity. My piesent acknowledgements, therefore, 
of the imj)ropriety and indecorum of the measure I suf- 
fered myself to be hurried into, and my subniission,with- 
out a complaint, to the consequent decision of Congress, 
will, 1 hope, be attri})uted to the real motive, the con- 
viction of having really done wrong. I shall now. Sir, 
conclude with sincerely wishing that Congress may find 


many servants ready to make as great sacrifices as I 
have made, and possessed with the same degree of zeal 
for their service as has from the beginning governed all 
my actions ; but with the good fortune never by one 
act of imprudence to incur their displeasure : and 1 can, 
without ari'ogance, assert, on self examination, that this 
is the only step in the whole line of my conduct which 
could justly furnish matter of offence to that honourable 

I am. Sir, with the greatest respect. 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

Charles Lek 

His Excellency the Pi'esident of Congress. 

From James Lovell to Gen. Gates. 

Feb. 4"^ 1780. 
Dear Sir, 

It is only because Col. Bull was so obliging as to 
promise to call on me this morning for a Letter, that I 
now take up my Pen, for it is impossible for me to 
write with any Deliberation, having two Expresses to 
attend to immediately. Y'. Favor of Fe)/ 17'*^ with L's 
Instnictions are on my Table. Verily I cannot conceive 
he acted from any other principle than what he avei's ; 
and I ought in charity for Congress to suppose that 
the word Protection will fairly admit of the Ideas usu- 
ally annexed to " Aids by Treaty " otherwise their 
Honors have been over free in the use of it during the 
Honey Moon of our late interesting AUiance. How- 
ever, I will consider this matter a little more maturely. 
You will really be surprised when you come to see L's 
last Letter to Congress. I did not imagine ho would 
write so confessionary an Epistle to any Potentate on 
Earth. His first is published Jan^ 10^ his 2^ will be 
in the Feb*^. Journal. 

410 THE LEE papers; 

I did not know but some persons might chuse to bare 
by them the Treaties in french, the Language in 
which they were originally drawn up ; therefore I made 
the Printer bind a few of the Sheets which he had 
struck ofE, but was forbidden to insert in the 4th VoL 
of the Journals; You can accent them with a fine 
nibbed pen. The printer had no tipes for that purpose. 

P. M. 

I was interrupted this morning by the arrival of 
a large Mail fi-om France by the Mercuiy after a 
long passage. We had later news before — I hope we 
shall get supplies of arms <fe ammunition early. There 
is the fairest prospect Indeed, we could make out 
pretty well with our own Magazines. We could by the 
1^' of May get ready 10,000 including 1600 Queen 
Ann's, which would serve at West Point. But the 
money ! General, the money ! Speculators are three 
times over match for us — As to Massachusetts God 
Knows where they will find the Cartloads ; but they 
have determined to make good the original Contract of 
Congress with both oflScei-s & Men for S years back ; 
and to be governed in future by the same scale which 
regulates them for the past — the monthly average of 
the prices of Beef Indian Coin Sheeps Wool and Sole 

I think I mentioned to you some time ago that we 
ought to be guarding against an Event 7iot improbahle 
which is an armed negociation wherein the Terms of- 
fered by Spain last year mai/ be again renewed by 
others as reasonable proposals, viz'. Each to hold what 
they possess on the day of the Commencement of a lone 
Tiiice — France 6l Spain will make powei*ful combinett 
Diversions to favor us if they should not be also able 
to co-operate in these Parts. 

It is reported that S' Harry was not heard of at 
Carolina on the 10^*" of February — 

The Express who brought my Packet in 14 days 
from Boston, tells me that as he passed thro' Connect!- 


cntt he was told that Gen'. Putnam had been taken off 
by a Fit of some kind, but whether convulsions or apo- 
plexy he could not remember. 

Our Boston papers rarely come to hand of late, and 
are chiefly advertizements-when they do reach us. As 
I am uncertain whether I shall print what Doct'. Frank- 
lin mentions of Portugal I give it to you in Extract. 

Passy Oct^. 4, 79. 
Portugal seems to have a better disposition towards 
us than heretofore. About 30 of our peoT)le taken & 
set ashore on one of her Islands by the English were 
maintained comfortably by the Governor during their 
Stay there furnished with eveiy Necessary, and sent to 
Lisbon, where, on Enquiry to whom payment was to be 
made for the Expence they had occasioned, they were 
told that no Reimbursement was expected, that it was 
the Queen^s Bounty who had a pleasure in showing 
Hospitality to Strangers in Distress. I have presented 
Thanks, by the Portugaise ambassador here, m behalf 
of the Congress. And I am jjiven to understand that 
probably in a little Time the Torts of that Nation will 
be open to us as those of Spain. 

Arthur Lee was in Paris Dec'. 8*^. I doubt not he 
is now on his way to America for there is Reason to 
think Mr. J. Adams arrived soon after that date. I fear 
he will never get any Redress from Deane who will take 
care to miss him in both Countnes. 

The Letter which I forward is from Count Montford, 
as I judge by the handwriting & size resembling seve- 
ral others which have been opened. He meant well in 
what he has published though there is nothing very 
smart or substantial in it. He had a hard boat to steer 
if he means again to appear as an officer in America — 
He has met with some considerable Windfalls on the 
decease of a Grandfather & Sister. — Conway has a Regi- 

I have discpatches to pi-epare in consequence of the 


new arrival this morning, which addition to the laboi-s 
announced when I first took up my pen must plead my 
Excuse for not noticing particularly what have writ- 
ten heretofore about Canada & other subjects. 

Present my affectionates to Mi*s. Gates &, your Son ; 
and continue to treat me as sincerely your Friend & 
humble serv*. 

James Lovell. 

Hon^^*^ Maj' Gen^ Gates. 

From Ralph Wormeley, Jr. 

Rosegill, 2 Mai-ch 1780. 
Dear Sir, 

The severity of the weather has rendered the convey- 
ance of letters, w^hich were always in this country too 
long on their passage more tardy than ever ; for I re- 
ceived your letter in M^'Pherson s inclosure of the 9th 
of December, not before this afternoon. If I expressed 
my sentiments of Gen^ Lee's abilities and intentions, I 
could not express them in any terms less pregnant than 
I did ; and I can faithfully assure you, that had you 
represented Berkeley, I would have tried my interest in 
Middlesex ; and had I obtained a seat in the National 
Assembly, I would have joined you hand and heart, by 
every effort in my abilities, every argument in my 
comprehension to have brought about freedom in de- 
bate, and the liberty of the press, without which, the 
representative deliberations generate only faction and 
fetters, and noisy professions of patriotism become air, 
but necessity, state necessity is the scythe that mows 
down every argument ; and you are not to be taught by 
me, that by the assistance of this argument, there is no 
degree of despotism that may not be vindicated and im- 
posed : if I considei'ed this evil as only a temporary 
stun to my country's liberty, I should not suffer the 
contemplation of it to lacerate my mind to such a de- 


gree, but, I fear, she never will recover the shock : the 
minds of men, especially our leaders, are so debased, 
arbitrary, narrow; so little liberalized, that the tyrants 
of the day will for ever restrain the freedom of the 
press : we live too in such a sparse manner, that no con- 
stitutional combination can take place to carry into ex- 
ecution any plan for the recovery of this inestimable 
privilege : It is lost for ever. 

I received yesterday the King of Britain's speech : 
He calls upon the Commons for large supplies for " the 
various and extensive operations of the ensuing year,'' 
and, is determined *' to prosecute the war with vigor, 
to compel all his enemies to listen to terms of peace and 
accommodation " recommends to them to give the Irish 
every thing they ask, and bestows great encomiums on 
the militia, not a word of America, not a word of alli- 
ances. Ld. Gower is succeeded by Ld. Bathurst as pre- 
sident of the Council, and Ld. Weymouth by Ld.' Hills- 
borough ; I conjecture the Bedford party mean to 
shake the premier. 

Your letter to my father shall be delivered, when he 
shall return from King William : it reached me this 
day. I am concern'd to find you have been exposed to 
such inconveniencies ; the vigour of the winter is now 
gone, and I hope you have weathered it without sus- 
taining any injury to your health — 

I shall be happy to see you fulfil your promise of 
visiting us ; we have but few now of the comforts of life, 
none of the elegancies ; such as we have no man wiJJ 
be more welcome to, than youi-self, nor more cordially 
received by Dear Sir 

Your most obed. & most humble Servant 

Ralph Wormeley, Jun. 

P.S. 3^ of March — My father came home this day, 
& will answer your letter to-morrow to your satisfac 



' From Miss Sidney Lee. 

Bath, March 14^^ 1780. 
My Dear Brother, 

I came here with your veiy sincere friends M" Bur- 
nt ts ye 16th of January, and have since received your 
letter of September 20th date, that was forwarded to 
me by our Suffolk kinsman who is (I think) deserving 
of our gratitude &> regard. 

I cannot express the little of the satisfaction the con- 
tents of your letter gave me, nor my thankfulness for 
the goodness of your constitution, that has enabled you 
to preserve your health & spirits through captivity, 
extreme fatigue, and what is still to a geneix)us & 
zealous mind, much hardei* to bear, ingratitude beyond 
anything I ever read of. I'm amazed the members of 
the Court Martial that suspended you, suffer'd the 
minutes to come forth, and afterwards your own de- 
fence. They have both been read by all that can read, 
and by what I can learn made an equal impression 
upon all. But believe I had better here stop, as I wish 
my letter to reach you, therefore for the I'emainder 
of my })aper will confine myself to other matters, ex- 
cept l)reathing my earnest wishes for a peace, that may 
satisfie every man that is a real friend to England <b 

I thank God I have of late enjoy'd pretty good 
health — Wish it was in my power to say as much for 
Mrs. E. Burritts. But it was her want of that blessing 
that brought us here again, wherewith her Sister or 
self, chose to come without me, and my obligations & 
attachment to them has daily increas d for the last 
twenty years. In August last S** C. Bunbury had a 
few hours business in Cheshire and stayed five days to 
make me a visit. His countenance was healthy & his 
spirits good, therefore hope he had surmounted all 
his family mortifications. Have seen his brother since 
Xmas, and have heard from several his sons are two as 


fine boys, as ever was born. Their youngest Sister 
(late Blakey) was married in the summer to Mr Bos- 
cawen with whom she eloped from her former husband 
and five children, her eldest daughter, then thii-teen 
years old, For which I think her more to blame than 
almost any of the fashionable Ladies. Believe M'' 

family are well, and wish for her sake, but 
still more for my own, those Worthys, Monsieurs Owen 
& Potts Attorneys, wou'd graciously settle our late 
Aunt Williams's afEairs ; as by so doing I might benefit 
by her legacy, but if they continue to proceed as they 
have hitherto done, cannot hope to live to receive the 
intei'est of the money. The Townshends are all well, 
and by letter have desired I will convey their kindest 
love, and have had much the same request from M" 
Hunts. Lady Malpas lives here, and never fails en- 
quiring after you. Have never seen our friend Butler 
since the first week he arrived in England, for he went 
to London in the Summer when I was in Shropshire, 
aiid left word at my house he would return m ten 
days; but there or in SufEolk he was, when I set out 
for this place. Had the pleasure of passing the month 
of September with M" Myddleton at Gwnynyhoy. 
Take for granted she is now at Liverpool, tne Com- 
mander of the Derbighshire Militia never going to 
quarters without her. M" Mainwaring is alive <fc 
spirited as ever in convei-sation and loves you most 
smcerely. I supped this winter in company with M^ 
Falconer, when he with gi-eat coi'diality desired I would 
the first opportunity remember him kindly to you, that 
I am sure is more than his medical brother wou'd con- 
descend to, yet cannot help feeling concem'd for old 

sake he is not as a physician more sought 
after than he seems to be in this his place of abode. A 
family settled at Bath, that M" Burritts <fe your Sister 
are proud of the i*egard they treat us with, from my 
heart and spirit was every circumstance as I wish (and 
believe you deserve) I wou'd sail many times to the 
East Indies <fe back again to present you with a wife 


out of it. The Master of the said family told me, hav- 
ing frequently mentioned me, and expi ess'd his good 
wishes for you, a Gentleman with whom he is intimate 
said to him, I have been writing to your acquaintance 
Genl. Lee must think I was either drunk or mad for he 
does not know such a man exists. It is to him I shall 
be obliged for putting this letter into a probable road 
of beine received. 

M" fiurritts sends you every good wish. That the 
Almighty may bless & preserve you for better days is 
the zealous prayer of 

Your affectionate Sister, 

S. Lee. 

From Gen. Thomas Mifflin. 

Philadelphia, March 16th, 1780. 
My dear Friend 

But a very few days it has been in my power to answer 
your most affe*®. & friendly Letter of the 30"". Decem- 
ber last, it not having reached me 'till since the 9^. 
instant— How distressing & mortifying it is my worthy 
fr*^. to me to be so diprived of your Correspondence. 
Cannot we fall upon some method of more frequently 
exchanging letters ? 

Inclosed is Copy of a particular list, & receipt to 
Major Eustace for the Books, papers, &°. you ordered 
him to deliver me, he has however thought proper to 
detain the Letter or Letters wrote you by Gen\ Reed, 
that Gen^ Arnold requested a sight of, this confirms 
me fully in my former opinion tnat he returned the 
Letters to M^ Keed — do you know that this young gen- 
tleman is going to England now ? I will make no com- 
ments upon his conduct or intentions, 

The season is now 
I expect in the art of a 

[A little more than one quarter of the leaf is torn off from the bottom. 
The letter has no postmark, or endorsement, and was doubtless sent by 


privmte hand. The second leaf contains the ** Remarks, &*." which fol- 
low this letter — all in General Lee's handwriting.] 

I have not before infonned you that I am settled in 
Town and working away in the mercantile line as hard 
as I can. I think I cou'd employ some of your bills of 
Exchange upon Britain to good advantage. 

1 am much engaged, therefore Pardon my not writing 
you more fully at present. 

1 shall conclude with a hint to you — 

Be not deceived my dear General the Congress are 
not your frd*. they, like their constituents are ungrate- 
ful to the man that has more than once saved 'em from 
eternal perdition & to whom I may justly say the lib- 
erties of mankind in this age may be ascribed — 

Your grandson is yet i^ Jersey — has grown finely — 
With Compl'. to youi'self & family I am joined by M". M. 

1 am Yours affl'y 

[Thomas Mifflin.] 
Hon^^ Major Gen^ Lee, 

Berkley County, Virginia 

Remarks, Etc. 

A Tory for instance, as now cali'd, is an Enemy to 
Tyranny not only in a King and a corrupt Parliament, 
but whatever other garb it assumes, whether a Baltimore 
or Philadelphia Mob or a self -created Committee of im- 
ported servants — a Whig is for passive obedience to 
any other men in power than a King and Parliament 
tho' their folly incompetence and knavery be ever so 
conspicuous — a Tory is for the freedom of the Press as 
the great Pillar of civil and political Liberty — a Whig 
is for the utter suppression of it — a Tory is for paying 
the full value of his debts at the Time He contracted 
'em — a Whig is for discharging his at the sixtieth or 
the hundredth part of their value, altho' his Creditor 
had saved him from Jail by the loan. 
Vol. III.— 27 


Note 1**. to deciy all specuTlaJtors in general wou'd 
be nonsense — ^it wou'd be to decry all commerce, which 
is in a good measure founded on speculation — the specu- 
lators here meant are only those who have made dan- 
gerous monopolies — the little riding speculators are 
perhaps rather useful than the contrary as without them 
these back countries cou'd not be supplied with common 

Note 2^ it is remarkable that of the powerful Op- 
posei*s to the claims of the British Ministry, not more 
than foui' on the whole Continent at present can be 
esteemed leadine^ men in their respective states — Lee 
and Henry of Virginia and the two Adam's of Massa- 
chusetts — and these to a man are indignant at some of 
Uie fashionable maxims particularly the tyranny over 
the Press. 

Draft — to the President of Congress. 

22^ April, 1780. 

The letter of apology which I did myself the honor 
of addressing to Congress has I find been published, 
but I must confess myself as thoy thought proper to 
publish it, a little disappointed that it was not accom- 
panied by any comments in my favor — the acknowl- 
edgment and apology, for auy want of decorum to a 
private man and much more to a public Body has ever 
been in my way of thinking an honourable measure — 
and I hope it will not be taken ill when I observe that 
the greatest defect in the American character both of 
Individuals and Bodies is their making it a rule never 
on any occasion to confess themselves in the wrong — 
for instance, General Washington must be sensible that 
the letter He wrote to Congress and indeed to the 
whole world on the affair of Monmouth did from mis- 
information at the time He wrote it (for I can have no 
reason to believe He wou'd wittingly impose a false- 


hood on the publick) that this letter from the begin- 
ning to end did scarcely contain a syllable of truth, 
which is substantially prov'd by the evidences of the C. 
Martial both on the part of the Prosecutors and Prose- 
cuted, and the General ought of coui^se when he had 
better inform'd himself to have made me reparation by 
acknowledging his error — With I'espect to the confirma- 
tion of the wicked absurd and I may add trait'rous sen- 
tence pass'd on me by the Court Martial I am confident 
[so great was my opmion of the general body] that it 
was bi-ought about by the arts and management of a 
small junto of men in a thin house ; I am confident 
that if the house had been full I shou'd have been ac- 
quitted with honour, as I have no doubt but that sim- 
ple justice wou'd have influenced the generality of that 
Assembly — I venture to assert this, because If Congress 
calls upon me, I will bring proofs that several of the In- 
dividuals who compos'd this majority acted from their 
own professions against their sentiments on the perni- 
cious maxim that justice must be postponed to expedi- 
ence, which was iu [this particular case] in fact to say 
no more or less than this : that because Gen : W, is 
thought to be a useful man, whenever his little finger 
is sore a poultice must be made out of the vitals of any 
other General Officer in the service whom his Excels 
lency devotes for the purpose. I hope I shall not be 
thought impertinent in putting these three queries to 
the consideration of the Congress : l""^. is it possible to 
disobey discretionary orders? I might have miscon- 
ducted myself, but to disobey discretionary orders is 
as impossible as kill a dead man. 2''^*^ : Whether a letter 
of remonstration from officer to officer for injurious 
treatment and never publish'd or design'd to be pub- 
lished comes under any of the American Articles of 
War ? — ^A law that cou'd be construed into this sense 
wou'd be too hard for a Russian digestion. 3"^. if a 
retreat of fifteen himdred men remote from any support 
from an Enemy of nine thousand without the loss of a 
single Gun, a single Battalion, or a single Platoon can be 


deem'd scandalous or unnecessary. I do assure you, Sir, 
and the Gentlemen of the ConOTess that these queries 
I now venture to propose, and the language I now hold, 
are not meant as an insult, but on the contrary proceed 
from the good opinion I am taught to entertain of the 
present Congress, on whom it can certainly reflect no 
dishonour to pass some censure on the proceedings of 
predetermined faction in the preceding one and to make 
some reparations for tlie injuries which have been 
heap'd on the head of a man who has risk'd his fortune 
sacrificed his military rank, his fnends and connexions 
to the cause of America, in which he thought were in- 
volved those of Mankind — and as they have thought it 
not improper to publish my last letter, I flatter myself 
they will find it as little so to publish this, which if 
I have a right conception of things, must rather re- 
dound to their honour than the reverse. 

Draft — to the Presidknt of Congress. 


The letter of apology I did myself the honour of 
addressing to Congress, has I find been published, and 
I confess myself not a little disappointed and mortify'd 
that it was not accompanied by some favorable com- 
ments — the acknowledgmg and apologizing for any want 
of decorum in actions or words towards an Individual 
and much so towards a public Body of men has ever 
been in my way of thinking an honorable measure, and 
I hope I shall not give offense in observing that the 
greatest defect I have observed in the American char- 
acter is the almost universal rule they have laid down 
never on any account to confess themselves in the 
wrong — for instance, General Washington must have 
been sensible that the letter He wrote to Congress on 
the affair of Monmouth did, from misinformation at 
the time He wrote it, scarcely from the beginning to 


the end, contain two sentences of truth — I say from 
misinformation, because I cannot believe tliat He wou'd 
wittingly impose a falsehood on the public — the Gen- 
eral therefore of coui'se the instant He was convinced o£ 
the misinfoiTnation that gave birth to his letter (which 
He must be convinc'd of from all the Evidences of the 
Court Martial) ought to have made some I'eparation 
by acknowledging his error [the King of Prussia haa 
not thought it derogatory J with respect to the confir- 
mation of the wicked absuixi and ridiculous sentence of 
the Court Martial. I am confident it was brought 
about by the art and management of a junto of men 
who watch'd their occasion in a thin house ; I am con- 
fident that had the house been full I shou'd have been 
acquitted with honour, as I have not a doubt but that 
simple justice wou'd have influenc'd the generality of 
that Assembly — I think Gentlemen, I am warranted to 
hold this free language, because proofs can [cou'd] 
be brought that of the Individuals who compos'd this 
Majority, some never read the trial 'till after the con- 
firmation, and that othei's, from their own professions 
to their Acquaintance, acted against their sentiments 
on the pernicious principle that Justice must be post- 
pon'd to Expedience, by which in this particular case I 
suppose was meant that as General Washington is con-' 
siaered a necessary man. He is to be humor'd in the 
sacrifice of every ofiicer whom from pique or jealousy 
He [Tn&y have devotes [devoted] to destruction. 

I hope I shall not be tnought impertinent (I am sure 
it is far from my intention) in offering to the consider- 
ation of the present Congress these three queries. 1*^ 
is it possible to disobey discretionary oi'ders ? — I might 
have misconducted myself but to disobey discretionary 
orders is as impossible as to kill a dead man, and that 
the General's orders were discretionary is manifested 
by every evidence. 2"***^ Whether a letter of remon- 
strance from one ofiicer to another for injiu-ious treat- 
ment, never divulg'd or designed by the Writer to be 
divulg'd falls under any American article of war ? A 


law that cou'd be construed into snch a sense wou*d 
render the Commander so completely despotick as to be 
too hard for a Kussian digestion. S"^^ Whether (and 
admitting the retreat to have been mine which it cer- 
tainly was not, but merely owing to a fortunate acci- 
dent ;) but admitting it to have been mine, I demand 
whether the retreat of fifteen hundred men from nine 
thousand these fifteen hundred distant from any support, 
in a Country totally unreconnoitered unfavourable to 
our species of Troops, being totally defective in Cavalry, 
without the loss of a single Gun, a single Battalion, 
or a single Platoon can be deemed unnecessary and 
scandalous ? these queries which I now venture to pro- 
pose, and the language I now venture to hold, wul I 
flatter myself, from the character of the present Con- 
gress, meet with a juster fate than what I have hither- 
to in my own vindication been forced to utter to the 
Public — and as I have so fi-eely [candidly] and in such 
strong terms acknowledged [expressed] my contrition 
[concern] for in my last letter for the indecorum [disre- 
spect] I was hurried into. I cant help flattering my- 
self [have reason to hope] that the Present Congress 
will not think it inconsistent with their dignity [honor 
themselves] by passing some public censure on the 
proceedings a predetermin'd faction of a former one, 
and to make [by making] some reparation for the in- 
juries which have been heap'd on the head of a man 
who has risk'd his fortune, [sacrificed] his militaiy 
pretensions, his relations, connexions, and powerful 
friends to the cause of American Freedom, m which 
he thought were involv'd the liberties of all Mankind. 

Draft — ^to the President of Congress. 

22^ April, 1780. 

The letter of apology I did myself the honour of 


addressing Congress has I find been published, and I 
confess myself not a little disappointed in finding that 
it was not accompanied by some favourable comments. 
The acknowledging and apologizing for any inde- 
corum by words or actions to an Individual and much 
more so to a Public Body has ever been in my way of 
thinking a becoming measure, and I here hope I shall 
be pardon'd in observing that one of the greatest de- 
fects in the American character is the almost univei'sal 
rule they seem to have laid down never on any occasion 
whateveT to confess themselves in the wrong — ^for in- 
stance the letter of General Washington on the affair 
of Monmouth, from misinformation at the time He 
wrote it, did scarcely from the beginning to the end, 
contain three sentences of truth, I say from misinforma- 
tion, because I must not believe He wou'd wittingly 
impose a falsehood on the Public ; but the moment He 
was convinced of the misinformation, which gave birth 
to his letter He ought of course to have made repara- 
tion, and He must have been convinc'd from all the 
Evidences of the Court Martial, if he ever condescended 
to read more of it than the sentence. 

To THE President of Congress. 

22^ April, 1780. 

The letter of apology which I did myself the honour 
of addressing to Congress, has I find been publish'd, 
and I confess myself much disappointed in finding it 
not accompanied by some favorable comments — the 
acknowledging and apologizing for any want of deco- 
rum either in actions or words towards an Individual 
and much more so towards a public Body has ever been 
in my way of thinking a most becoming measure, and 
on this occasion I hope I shall not give offense in ob- 
serving that one of the greatest defects in the American 


character seems to be the almost universal rule they 
have laid down never to confess themselves in the 
wrong be it ever so palpable — for instance. General 
Washington's relation to Congress of the affair of Mon- 
mouth, from misinformation at the time He wrote it, 
(for I cannot believe he would wittingly impose a 
falsehood on the public) scarcely contains three sen- 
tences of truth — and he ought of course the moment 
He was convinc'd of his misinformation to have made 
some reparation by acknowledging his eiTor of which 
he must have been convinc'd by the f)eru8al of the 
court martial, unless he never condescended to read 
more of it than the bare sentence. I confess I was my- 
self persuaded as w^ell as were many others that he 
would have taken this honorable step. With respect 
to the wicked absurd and ridiculous sentence passed by 
the Court Martial, I am confident that it was brought 
about by the art and management of a particular junto 
who waited their opportunity in a thin house ; I am 
confident had the house been full, that I shou'd have 
been acquitted with honour, as I have not a doubt but 
that the consideration of justice alone wou'd have in- 
fluenced the generality of that Assembly. I think Sir 
I am warranted in advancing this opinion and in giving 
the epithets I have done to this transaction, because 
proofs cou'd be brought that of the Individuals who 
compos'd this Majority, some never read the trial 'till 
long after the confirmation, and that others, as they 
have professed in their open houi^s acted contraiy to 
their sentiments of the real merits of the cause on the 
pernicious principle that Justice must give way to Ex- 
pedience, by which I suppose they must have meant 
that as General Washington is considered a necessary 
man. He is to be indulged in the sacrifice of any ofiicer 
whom from jealousy pique or caprice He may have de* 
voted to destiTiction. From the character. Sir, of the 
present Congress, I can have little apprehension of 
being thought impertinent in offering the three follow- 
ing queries to their consideration — 1""^, is it possible 


to disobey discretionary orders ? — I might have miscon- 
ducted myself, but to disobey discretionary orders is as 
absolutely an impossibility as to kill a dead man, and 
that the Genei*al's orders were discretionaiy is mani- 
fested not only by every evidence of the Court Martial, 
but even by his own letter as far as the pait of his 
letter relative to the ordei's he had given is mt^lUgible. 
2ndly. Whether a letter of remonstrance never pub- 
lished or designed to be published by the Writer, from 
the second in command to the first for injiudous 
treatment falls under any American article of war ? A 
law that cou'd be construed into such a sense wou'd 
render the Commander in Chief so completely despotick 
as to be too hard for a Russian digestion. 3rdly. 
Whether admitting the retreat to have been mine which 
it certainly was not, but owing to a fortunate accident ; 
but admitting it to have been mine, whether the retreat 
of fifteen hundi'ed men from eight or nine thousand in 
a Country unfavourable to our species of Troops, as 
being totally defective in Cavalry, our flanks uncovered, 
remote from any support and performed without the 
loss of a single Gun, a single Battalion, or a single Pla- 
toon can be deem'd unnecessary or scandalous ? I cer- 
tainly gentlemen, should not hold this language to a 
body of men [of] whose liberality of mind I had been 
taught to entertain a low opinion and as I have in my 
last letter so freely and in such strong tenns expressed 
my concern for the disrespect I was hurried into I 
flatter myself that the Present Congress will think it 
not inconsistent with their dignity to pass some public 
censui'e on the iniquitous decision of a pre-determin'd 
faction in a former one, and publicly to make some 
reparation for the many injuries which have been 
heap'd on the head of a man who has risk'd his fortune, 
sacrific'd his militaiy pretensions, his relations, con- 
nexions, and powerful friends to the American cause in 
which He thought were comprehended not only the 
political rights of the aggregate, but the civil rights of 
every individual ; but however the former may ulti* 


mately be established, the latter at present most cer- 
tainly are not, as the great basis, the freedom of the 
press has no more existence in this country than at 
Itome or Constantinople : and it is sanguinely hoped 
by every real enemy to Tyranny, whatever garb it 
assumes that the present Congress, among their recom- 
mendations to the several States, will, above all recom- 
mend the restoration and protection of this Palladium 
both of political and civil liberty, 

I am, Sir, with the greatest respect 

Y' most hble & ob* Ser^ 

Charles Lee. 

To Benjamin Rush. 

Redwood Forest 

April 30^ [1780] 
My dear Rush, 

I am quite puzzled at the meaning of Congress in 
publishing the letter of apology I wrote to them for the 
disrespectful terms I had been hurried into towards 'euL 
Most people I have conversed with on the subject are 
of opinion that they have done it in triumph over me, 
considering the state of my apology as an instance of 
their having succeeded in breaking my spirit — I am 
myself apt to be of this opinion — ^but the criterion is, 
whether my few friends are displeased with it, and my 
enemies pleased — You who are on the spot can be a 
better jud^e — if this is the case I must conjure you, my 
dear friend, to seal the inclosed and contrive to have it 
sent to the President : but if on the contrary it is con- 
sidered in its proper light a becoming expression of 
concern for an act of indecorum towards a public body 
for all public bodies (even the Pandemonium itself) 
ought to be treated with some degree of complaisance 
when we address thera, if, I say, it is considered as a 
becoming measure, it would be better perhaps to take 
no more notice publicly of the matter. But I once 


more entreat and conjure you that if my friends seem 
displeased and my enemies to triumph, that you vnW 
contrive to have it without further consideration, to 
have it sent Young Shippen will deliver you this packet 
but knows not what the packet contains. I am, my 
dear Rush, most heartily sick of this country and have 
thoughts of quitting it soon ; if I can settle my affaii*s 
in such a manner as to set me at liberty — ^the best thing 
we can do is I think to inquire out who is the most tol- 
erable master, for as to great, wholesome equal repub- 
lics which you and I have been fanatically in pursuit 
of, I am now convinced they are in these modem ages 
quite chimerical. We are not materials for such di- 
vine manufactures. I believe therefore I shall think 
the wings of a well disposed monarch the best asylum 
— and it happens, that tnere are at present two of these 
phenomena on earth ; the Emperor and the G. Duke, 
Tuscany or Hungary Avill upon the whole, I believe, be 
my last stage. I never will certainly draw my sword 
against this country but I do not thmk myself under 
any moral obligation to labor as strenuously as I hith- 
erto have done merely for what the ranting whigs are 
pleased to fancy her interest. These ranting whigs are in 
lact most absolute Tories in all their theory and practice. 
But I nmst not run into an essay, as the boy s horses 
are at the door, only once more conjure you, my dear 
Rush, by all the ties of honor and friendship, not to 
delay (if my enemies do triumph at the Congress pub- 
lication) not to delay (after you have taken a copy) 
sending the inclosed as I have requested. 

My respects to your wife and her connexions. 

C. Lee, 

From James Monroe. 

Ayletts Warehouse, June 15'**. 
My Dear Gen\ 

I am happy in accidentally meeting with a neighbor 


of y" who tells me he lately left yoii well & contented 
with your retir'd life. I am extremely anxious for 
your welfare & often most sincerely lament that the 
temper of this Continent sho'^ be such as to render it 
expedient for you to return to Berkley. When I left 
you in Phil*, my wish & expectation was immediately 
to go to liurope ; on my coming to Virginia being under 
age, I found it difficult to make such disposition of my 
property as wo"^ admit of it. I meant however to go 
this fall i& as I wish'd to go in the character of an 
officer for that purpose I went up to H^ Q". by Phil*, 
(where I wish'd much to have seen you) to require 
from His Excell^ & I/. Stirling a certificate of my 
good conduct. This I meant to present to the Vii'g', 
Assembly & from them procure an appointment. His 
Excellency gave the letter I co** have wish'd & L*' Stir- 
ling also treated [me] with gentlemanly politeness. 
What I have to expect from this assembly is incertain 
but as they have no interest in the appointment I de- 
sii'e I believe I have no probable grounds to found hopes 
on. I am retiring from them to my uncles, M'. Jones near 
Fredericks!/, (tlie Chief Justice of this State) where I 
propose staying perhaps the year. If it was my house 
my d'. general you sho*^ make it yours, but at present I 
only live in expectation of it. I may however take the 
liberty with my uncle to press you if you come that 
way to call & see me — Be so kind as write me, and di- 
rect to Fredericks!)^, to inform me where I may wait 
on you. I am solicitous for y'. interest & wish to con- 
sult you on my plan. 

I am my dear General with sincere esteem y^ friend 
<fe very humble Serv*. 

Jas. Mo:sro. 
The H"^^ Major Genl. Lee, 

Berkley Cty. 


To James Monroe. 

Virginia July y* 18^** 
My Dr Monro, 

The letter I receivVl from you by M' White gave me 
the greatest pleasure as it assures me of your love and 
affection — but what He reports of you, gives me still 
more, as it not only assures me of the certainty you 
bave of well establishing yourself in fame and fortune 
(if from the whimsical circumstances of Country there 
can be any such thing establish'd as fame and fortune) 
but of the good figure you make flatters my vanity, as 
I have always asserted that you wou'd appear one of 
the first characters of this Country, if your shjmess did 
not prevent the display of the knowledge and talents 
you possess. M^ White tells me you have got nd of this 
mauvaise honte, and only retain a certain degree 
of recommendatory modesty — I rejoice in it with all 
my soul, as I really love and esteem you most sin- 
cerely and affectionately — ^You are pleas'd to say that 
you shou'd be glad to hear from me as frequently as 

f)0S8ible and if I recollect right (for I have lost your 
etter) to have my opinion on public affairs — t shall 
therefore without ceremony give you my opinion — I 
opine then that in all affairs political or military, there 
is a certain key of success and welfare — that the great- 
est proof of })olitical or military talents is to lay hold 
of this Key when presented — I really think that this 
Key is presented to the Americans at this instant can- 
not be disputed that it is the interest of America to put 
an end to the War, when it can be done with security, 
advantage and glory — And the only time, is a crisis 
when there is an equipoise of power betwixt Gr. Britain 
and the House of Bourbon, for shou'd America wait 
until the scale preponderates on one side or the other, 
She must necessarily be at the mercy, of the preponde- 
rating party ; and what reason there can be for trust 
ing France more than G. Britain, I leave to wiser heads 


to discover — I am sure if They consult History They 
will have less — let me only refer 'em for instance to the 
horrid tragedy acted (even in Lewis the 16th'8 time, 
the Champion of the oppress'd) in the Pieredi Niclo, 
IB- Coi'sica — but to leave nistory and consider only our 
actual circumstances — it appears to me then that there 
are only two Measures which The Americans can possi- 
bly adopt —the first is alone reconciliable to common 
sense and the most obvious policy — the latter (if sense 
and policy are laid aside) practicable I have no doubt 
The first is to make a peace with G. Britain when 
everything which America has fought and sought for 
may unquestionably be obtain'd — the second is that if 
She is so insane as to fight the battles of France — to 
insist at least that France shall support her Armies in 
cloathing subsistence arms and pay — in short pay the 
whole expenses of the war, and even then France will 
have a very good bargain, and the Americans a very 
bad one — for as to America fighting these Bourbonian 
battles at her own expense, another year — a man must 
be drunk, lunatick, or Pension'd who will dare to 
advance it as it is notorious that the twentieth part of 
the taxes for the present year 

To James Monboe. 

My dear MlTNROE — 

I receiv'd two days ago your letter dated from Rich- 
mond upbraiding me gently for not writing to you, 
I do assure you that I nave written twice adaressea to 
you immediately and a third time conjointly to you and 
Mercer — ^but. whether you have received 'em Heaven . 
knows, for of all the admirable qualities pervading all 
the People of this Continent, the laudable ambition of 
attaining knowledge by opening every letter seems one 
of the strongest it is not always I am Master of Pen 
Ink and Paper and seldomer that I have . an oppor- 


tunity of assuring you how much and sincerely I am 
yours — or you may depend upon it, that you should 
receive these assurances frequently as without compli- 
ment I have a pleasure in conversing with you whether 
by letter or viva voce. I am extremely concerned that 
Fortune has been so unkind as not to admit of your 
cultivating to greater advantage the talents which has 
Nature has bestowed than the present situation you 
are in seems to promise for in my opinion, but per- 
haps I am a prejudiced man the study of topographi- 
cal Law unless daily connected by other more liberal 
studies is a most horrid narrower of the mind, and you, 
as you justly complain have not the proper books for 
the necessaiy correction — ^if I remain on this continent 
nothing will give me greater pleasure or more flatter 
my anibition than to communicate my notions and as- 
sist you with all the means in my power in the pur- 
suits of polite lettei's — and if any circumstances arise 
to make me alter my present plan I hope it may be so 
contrived that we may be much together Your pres- 
ent assembly is, I have many reasons to believe, com- 
posed of wretched materials, but wretched as it is, it 
appears one of the least abominable on the Continent 
in fact the power in ev'ry State is manifestly fallen 
into the very worst hands ; in our County, in Mary- 
land in Pennsylvania ; it is neither a Monarchy, Aris- 
tocracy — nor Democracy, it has indeed some of the 
worst features of Theocracv, that is a few inspired 
Persons without the aid of human sense immediately 
by God from what they pretend dictate eveiy measure 
— but it is i-ather a Mac-ocracy by which I mean tha: 
a banditti of low Scotch-Irish whose names generally 
begin with Mac — and who are either the sons of Im- 
ported Servants, or themselves imported Servants are 
the Lords Paramount, and in such wild beastly hands 
as these are respublica diutius stare not potest — God 
knows what is to become of us ; perhaps I see with a 
jaundiced eye, but after a few months or at farthest a 
year anarchy and confusion, and a dreadful scene of 


desolation an absolute tyranny will I am persuaded be 
the conclusion of the piece, but whether the Tyrant 
will be foreiOT or domestic is out of the ken of my 
foresight — wnat do you think of the policy of our Con- 
gress m inviting ana if not invited in admitting a large 
body of French Troops into our bosom — at any rate 
the remedy is worse than the disease. How are we to 
get rid of ? — is there an instance in history of a strong 
nation sending an Army for the protection of an im- 
potent Nation where the Protectors have not ultimately 
stripped the Protected of their liberties, or at least 
have not attempted to do it ? You have read, I dare 
say the history of Britain and must be acquainted with 
the conduct of our Saxon ancestors called in for her 
protection You have read the histoiy of Charles the 
Fifth and of Philip the Second, and of course know 
that the Armies of Germans Italians and Spaniards 
called in originally for the protection of the Low 
Countries agamst the French were employed to enslave 
these same Low Countries, and that afterwards vice 
versa the French invited to protect them from the 
tyranny of the Spaniards attempted to accomplish the 
very same pui-poses They were called in for to defeat 
— in short the measure is so obviously big with mis- 
chief so repugnant to all the sound maxims of policy, 
that I cannot persuade myself but that those who have 
acquiesced in it must have been brib'd out of the little 
senses they had — and to say the truth if Congress can- 
not be pronounced to be positively coirupted They 
have certainly a most [damnable] glaring corruptibility 
in their nature, if we may judge from the characters of 
the Individuals who compose it. I suppose we shall 
have an Army of Russians likewise and then America 
will be a blessed scene indeed — after battling it for 
some time — one side or other must be conqueror, or it 
must be a drawn battle if the foiiner happens, the con- 
queror will give law to America, and ii the latter a 
partition treaty will be the issue — ^upon the whole to 
every man of reflection it is a most damnable measure, 
and opens to his view a most damnable prospect ♦ ♦ ♦ 


To . 

Dr. Sir, 

I cannot help suspecting from a part [of] your letter 
which I received yesterday that you have conceiv'd a 
very erroneous opinion of my notions and sentiments in 
religious matters — I suppose you have imbib'd it from 
the report yoiu" son James made to you of the idle con- 
versation which pass'd between us on certain abstracted 
subjects which in my way of thinking ought always to 
be considered merely as topicks for ridicule as on this 
subject so far beyond the reach of human understand- 
ing the learned and illiterate the good and the wise man 
are quite on a par you seriously conjure me not to 
eradicate belief (bv which I suppose you mean Christian 
faith) from the mmd of my young pupil to tell you 
truth I never make it the theme oi my conversation 
with him I leave him intirely to what he learnt before 
He came into my hands — and ♦ ♦ ♦ 

To . 

Dr. Sir, 

I am thoroughly persuaded that you and I (however 
we may differ in some circumstances) do in the main 
perfectly agree — from all I have heard, from all I can 
gather from your conversation and general conduct I 
am persuaded that you are a genuine staunch unadulter- 
ated Whig, and if I know myself I may claim that 
honour — by a genuine whig I mean a Man who opposes 
Tyranny in any shape and is ever vigilant against the 
encroachments of Power in whatever hands it is lodged 
—Whether it appears in the form of a King with a 

Erofligate Ministry and a corrupt Parliament at their 
eels or whether in the garb of a violent, ignorant and 
thievish gang of the demagogues of a credulous and ig- 
norant People that the views of the King, his ministry 
and his hireling Parliament were to the last degree 
Vol. m,— 28 


abominable no man who is not corrupted out of his 
senses can possibly dispute — but this Tyrannical King 
with his profligate ministry and hireling Parliament ai'e 
baffled so completely that whoever affects to dread their 
power must be despised as an Idiot — but tho' the Whigs 
(by whom I mean the Friends to general liberty and 
the rights of Mankind) have little or nothing to dread 
from George the third North or Germain, does it follow 
that they are in a state of security ? — is there in fact 
any abominable species of tyi'anny which if the King 
and Ministry had succeeded to the full extent of their 
Wishes is not put in practice by our present mis-rulers i 
is there in any (or even the shadow of) civil liberty ? — 
is not the property of Individuals without the shadow 
of a crime or criminality forfeited on the diabolical 
Maxim that Justice must be postponed to Expedience i 
is not every law, particularly the tender law, a proe- 
mium for ingratitude breach of faith and every beastly 
villainy ? is not the press restrained by direct or indi- 
rect means as effectually as it is in Turkey ? but the 
subject is so ungrateful that I chuse to quit it. I leave 
it to those gentlemen who have assented to these laws 
(if laws they can be called that are so abhorrent from 
the eternal rules of justice, so shocking to every human 
feeling) and come to the policy or expedience of these 
felonious acts — the expedience policy or necessity is sup- 
ported alone by the supposition that it will enable the 
community with a lighter weight of taxes, to cariy on 
the war — there never was a more glaring falsity — there 
never was so impudent an imposition attempted on the 
understanding of men — it is quite the reverse — the only 
real fund which America possesses for redeeming her 
debts are those lands which in propriety ought to be 
called conquered lands, that is in fact lands which if this 
contest had not happened would have been at the sole 
disposal of the Crown — not a single faiiihing of which 
would of course [have J entered into [the] pui*se of any 
particular State and consequently in common justice 
must be considered as the property of the general aggre- 


gate of America and not of any particular State, but 
even supposing these lands were the property of any 
individual State indisputably and uncontested is this a 
time to offer 'em to sale when from a variety of tempta- 
tions they must be sold for less than a hundred part 
their substantial value — is this a time when the Inhabi- 
tants of the Eastern side of the Mountains are loaded 
with monthly taxes of so great a weight as almost to 
make their backs crack unoer the burthen and military 
services to encourage emigration to depopulate the 
Countiy ? is this a time when Famine almost stai*es us 
in the face from wanting hands to cultivate the earth ? 
to say to the People if you will go over the hills leave 
your lands in fallow or sell 'em to the best bidder, you 
will avoid taxes avoid military services and We the mis- 
erable few that are left notwithstanding the necessity 
of cultivating our grounds and paying all the extrava- 
gant impositions of our noble all wise legislature do bind 
ourselves, to support you in ev'ry War you enter into 
with the Indians whose lands you have already or shall 
hereafter justly or unjustly find it your interest to 
possess yourselves of — 



Baltimore, Sept. 24, 1780. 

Although the subject of this letter is of no great pub- 
lic importance, it is sufficiently interesting to myself 
personally, and has sufficient concern with the rights 
and dignity of your State to apologize for the liberty I 
take in thus addressing you. The history. Sir, is this : 
Virginia, as an expedient to furnish her quota of troops 
required by Congress, has passed a strange law, author- 
izing Militia Officers to seize every person who has for- 
merly served in the army, and cannot produce his dis- 
charge, or so at least the people at large are pleased to 


construe it This law, or constniction of the law, has 
been attended with a thousand acts of injustice, vio- 
lence, and every species of enormity. Under this pre- 
text they break into Gentlemen's houses, and even seize 
on the persons of resigned Officers. What rouzes their 
zeal, is, that every man thus seized and thrown into 
pnson, exempts a class of fifteen from being drafted 
into the militia, or puts a sum of money into their pock- 
ets, as the seizures have a right to sell, as a substitute, 
the man seized to any other class who has not been 
equally fortunate in this sort of chase. Thus, from be- 
ing the most notorious harbourers and protectors of 
deserters on the whole Continent, the Virginia common 
Farmers are become the most furious inquisitors, not 
after the real deserters, whom they had before pro- 
tected, but after all those pfoor devils who had once 
served, but whose discharges are either unfortunately 
lost or worn out, which is the ease of nine out of ten. 
Amongst their other feats, a party broke into my house, 
and laid violent hands on the only servant I had in the 
world. This young man. Sir, (his name Abraham 
Spur) was a soldier in Col. James Weston's Massachu- 
setts Regiment, enlisted on the Gth of May, 1777, for 
three years, and of course his time expired on the 6th 
of May last. He was appointed to my guard, and in 
this capacity attended me to my house in Virginia. He 
made sundry applications to me for leave to retui-n to 
his regiment before the expiration of his time, in order 
to receive a regular discharge from his Colonel, and to 
settle his pay and his rations. As I had no other ser- 
vant I prevailed on him to remain, as I proposed to go 
down myself very soon to Philadelphia, where I womd 
take all blame on myself for any irregularity ; that I 
would in the meantime write to his Colonel, on the sub- 
ject, and (if my memory does not fail me) I did write; 
ut probably my letter miscarried, as has been the fate 
of most letters either written from or addressed to our 
part of the world. This indignity offered to a person 
of my condition, you may easily conceive a good deal 



5 revoked me, but however I produced him before a 
ustice of Peace, who, notwithstanding the lad's affidavit 
that the time of his service was expired, and my offer- 
ing, under any penalty, (if he was a deserter) to deliver 
him over to the line to which he belonged, obliged me 
to enter into a recognizance to produce him before the 
County Lieutenant. I accordingly did produce him 
before the County Lieutenant, who obliged me to enter 
into another recognizance to produce him for the ac- 
ceptance or non-acceptance of the Continental Officer 
first in rank then in the district, Col. Morgan, by nama 
I delivered him accordingly into the custody of Col. 
Morgan, who, as I expected, would not receive him, and 
gave me a certificate, the substance of which was this: — 
That General Lee had delivered into his custody Abra- 
ham Spur, according to the obligation he had entered 
into ; — that he was either no deserter, or he was ; if he 
was no deserter he could not be apprehended as such, 
and that if he was a deserter, he certainly belonged to 
Col. Weston's Regiment, and of cours(5 Virginia could 
have no claim to him ; and as General Lee had made 
himself responsible to the line to which he belonged, 
he would have nothing to do with him. This certificate 
I concluded, would put an end to my trouble; but I 
was mistaken; the County Lieutenant would not re- 
deliver the recognizance, but said it must be referred to 
the decision of a Court Martial of the Militia Officers 
of Berkley County, whether this Abraham Spur (thus 
circumstanced) was to be considered as a legal part of 
the Virginia quota or not. Now, what right a Court 
Martial, composed of the Militia Officers of Berkley 
County, in Virginia, has to declare that a Massachu- 
setts soldier (supposing him to be a desei'ter) may be 
a part of the Virginia quota, I cannot conceive; and 
I am sure it will puzzle all mortals but themselves to 
make out the title. It is undoubtedly the duty of every 
public-spirited citizen to apprehend those who he has 
strong reasons to believe deserters from the public ser- 
vice ; but I conceive, at the same time, that it is the 


duty of everj' decent person, if a Gentleman of any 
rank and property, gives security for delivering over 
those who are suspected, to the line to which they be^ 
long, to be satisfied with it. I beg, Sir, a thousand 
pardons for troubling you with this prolix history ; but 
without so minute a relation of the circumstances, you 
could not well understand the nature of the request I 
have to make, which is simply this : That you will take 
the trouble to order an enquiry to be made, whether 
this Abraham Spur, formerly a soldier in Coh Weston's 
regiment, is a deserter or not ; that if his time is ex- 
pired you will enjoin the Colonel to send him a formal 
discharge ; and if his time is not expired, to send a for- 
mal claim on me for his appearance, and I make myself 
responsible for it, or to fina another man in his room. 
In propriety I ought not, perhaps, to trouble a man in 
your high and busy station with such trifling [matters,] 
but rather address myself to his Colonel ; but as I 
know not where the Colonel is, or even if he is in exist- 
ence, and as I am not only warmly interested in the af- 
fair myself, but think the rights and dignity of your 
State in some measure committed, I flatter myself that 
you will not hesitate a moment in gratifying my re- 
quest. In the meantime. Sir, I am with the greatest 

Your most obedient and humble servant 

Charles Lee. 

P. S. When you honor me with an answer, please to 
enclose it to M". Goddard, Printer, Baltimore. You 
will have the indulgence, likewise, to excuse the blots 
of this Letter, as it was written in great haste. 

To THE People op Ameiuoa. 

The time is now approaching, or rather actually arriv'd 
when if I mistake not, you will severely smart for your 

THE LE« PAl^ERS. 43^ 

hasty headlong unmanly precipitancy in censuring your 
Generals for their conduct without waiting for the means 
of information whether their measures were wise or the 
reverse. You have ventur'd to pronounce 'em guilty of 
incapacity treachery and even Cowardice when in fact 
they were entitled to your warmest thanks. You have 
pronounc'd certain acts as highly treasonable as proceed- 
ing from the extreme of weakness which from the issue 
have more justly appear'd to have been dictated by wis- 
dom, firmness and spirit, and zeal for your Service — to 
instance Gen : S*. Clair and General Lee. The former you 
have charg'd with folly treachery and even Cowarciice, 
for having as it is now demonstrated display'd the greatest 
military prudence, very singular zeal (in these 
at least He knew your tempers) postponing his temporary 
glory to your interests, and on all proper occasions ex- 

Eosing his Person like a valiant Soldier — the latter you 
ave calumniated (or at least join'd in the cry) as either 
through want of ability or from coolness in your cause 
prevent'd you from obtaining a compleat victory — when 
every evidence even those appearing on the part of the 
Prosecution, the unanimous opinion of the best Soldiers 
of your Army, the letter of the Enemies General the 
universal voice of the Army, and the de- 

monstrate that He acted with propriety 

and spirit — it is true a pliant Court Martial was pleas'd 
to find him guilty of the charges, to the amazement of 
the whole Army and every man who has read the tryal, 
some of which They must have known it was impossible 
that any Mortal shou'd be guilty of — and that a confir- 
mation of this sentence has been obtain'd from a Body 
of men some of whom declare they never read the tryal 
and have confess['d] They think the charges not sup- 
ported — but excuse themselves by the famous Jesuitical 
Maxim that ends will justify [themselves] — ^this is cer- 
tainly an abominable doctrine, and the existence of that 
community which suffers it with impunity to be prof ess'd, 
cannot be of a long duration. General Stark who indis- 
putably gave a turn to the war has not indeed been per- 


secuted but his merits are buryed in silence — Gates and 
Ainold (I mean not to depreciate any character who 
may rise to be the idol of the day) the real the true 
Saviours of your State — and how has their fame if not 
directly at — the consequences 

of their ungenerous procedui'e which has ever been 
and ever must be fatal to the People who pursue 
it — both republicks and limited or absolute Monarchies 
— read the nistoiy of Carthage — of Sparta — of Rome, 
when fall'n degraded into Imperial Slavery — read 
that of modem Turkey and you will see the horiid 
truth illustrated — the Carthagenians sacrificed eveiy 
Officer who did not perform impossibilities; Hannibal 
himself was ti*aduc'd [by Hanno who was the prototype 
of a ] — the fate of Belisarius is read and known 

by every Child — I shall not therefore trouble you with 
it — but relate to you what recently happen'd (those few 
who read history cannot be inform'd of) in the last war 
betwixt Russia and the Turks — a very sensible and judi- 
cious General his name I think was Osman Bassa — was at 
the head of the Ottoman Troops — his Serasquier or L* 
General an Admii*able Soldier, Kanman Bassas of his 
own choice was detach'd according to their Custom 
— the measures this officer pursued were so wise that He 
must in a short time have oblig'd the whole Russian 
Army to have laid down their Arms — but as absolute 
Governments and democratical States have the same 
vices — the Soldiers who are the real Sovereigns of those 
Countries as the low People are of real democracies, tra- 
duc'd his measures as dilatory and deficient in vigor — 
Osman Bassa and his serasquier were recall'd banish'd 
and one of 'em afterwards beheaded — Moldivensia Bassa 
was created grand Vizier in his stead, and ordered to 
proceed with a spirit more becoming the dignity of Mus- 
sulmen — Moldevensia Bassa (tho' it is said a sensible 
man) to avoid the fate of his predecessor, absolutely run 
his head * * * 



* * * was ended widtten a note to a British offi- 
cer, thus perverting and disfiguring an act of humanity 
and decency into a tratrous correspondence — the fact 
is that after the affair I wrote an open note thro' the 
channel of head Quaii;ers at the request of a dying 
Seijt Major of the Guards, to Colonel Ohara, and the 
substance of it was simply this — that He was mortally 
wounded and regretted chiefly his leaving the world, 
because He was to be separated from so noble a Friend 
and Patron — ^the note was written in the presence of 
several officers, and I believe some surgeons of the hos- 
pital and sent unseal'd to head quarters — but such is 
the turn now given to it altho [I can have no reason to 
believe] I am perswaded that the General wou'd [never] 
encourage or countenance such iniquitous proceedmgs yet 
as [these gentlemen] are sort of f a voiu'ites or suppos'd to 
be favourites at head Quarters, I confess sore as I am 
with wrongs, they got the bettei* of my phylosophy and 
provok'd me into a deviation from the rule I had lay'd 
down to myself on leaving Philadelphia which was to 
remain totally silent 'till Time the great Elucidator of 
Truth shou'd as fully convince every man in America 
of my being injuriously treated as I have the happiness 
to be conscious myself — however I have the comfort to 
reflect that this deviation from the line I had determin'd 
to walk in cannot be attended with no [one] single bad 
consequence, as the affairs of America are now appa- 
rently out of all danger from exterior force — the danger 
is alone from within — but to quit the case of an Indivi- 
dual and come to general propositions — let any man of 
understandingand candor (I do not therefore address 
myself to M' rurvyance or his Coadjutors) but let any 
man of understanding and candor answer the following 
questions : have not the ties of relation laws religion 
habit and use been dissolv'd ? has not so much valuable 
Blood been spilt for the sake of liberty ? and has not 


an eternal divorce taken place betwixt the daughter 
and the Mother Country, under whose Wings She has 
flourish'd for so many ages for the sake of liberty ? and 
are the fruits of so violent a convulsion, so dreadfull a 
rent, and such hideous carnage to be the establishment 
of a more dreadfull and certamly more illiberal species 
of Tyranny than cou'd possibly have taken place if the 
British Mmistiy had succeeded to the extent of their 
wishes — ^The worst that We cou'd have painted to our 
imaginations wou'd be a Viceroy presiding over the 
Continent, an Intendant over each Colony, a Standing 
Army, and a licenser of the Press, and this condition 
God knows wou'd have been wi*etched enough — but 
wretch'd as it is, there is scarcely a Man fool enough on 
the Continent not to prefer it to that which you [are 
laboring to] impose upon us. The Viceroy probably 
wou'd be a Man of Quality, and possibly to a certain de- 
gree of a generous and elevated mind — the Intendents 
Gentlemen of a liberal education, the Licenser of the press 
a man of learning and encourager of Genius, and the 
Army kept in tolerable strict discipline — but a Court of 
inquisition or propaganda fede establish'd in every State, 
compos'd of the most contemptible [rabble] a President 
of such a stamp as M'. Purvyance at their head with 
powers to condemn to the flames every production of the 
ren and tear to pieces the Publisher of every production 
not suited to their whim of the day or levell'd to their low 
capacity wou'd comprehend eveiy tyranny in one — [even] 
a partial restriction of the press can never be reconcil'd 
with a republican Idea — have not We already felt its 
effects — have the most respectable characters civil or 
military been spar'd — torrents of abuse have been 
pour'd on the heads or [alleged] obliquities thrown 
at the Lee's of Virginia the Morris's, Miflins, and Bid- 
dais of Pensylvania — General S* Clair whose conduct 
was irreproachable [was] for a long time — and General 
Arnold an officer of unquestionable valour and merit, 
has lately been serv'd up as a constant dish of Scandal 
to the breakfast of every table on the Continent — the 


whole delegation of the Eastern States, and the Con- 
gress itself n as not escap'd it — in this general rage for 
abuse — M' Dean (I enter not into and am totally 
ignorant of the merit of his commercial concerns and 
connexions) but since He has scarcely for a single day 
been released from the whipping Post & ribaldiy his 
conduct as a minister is manifestly approved unless the 
continuation of Doctor •♦ ♦ ♦ j demand then 
whether when the press has been thus licentiously free 
Mrith the fii^st characters civil and military, it is to be 
[reconciled] with the idea of liberty and Republicanism 
that one favour'd mortal shou'd be exempted from 
all suspicion of fallibility, and that the least expres- 
sion of a doubt shou'd be esteem'd as absolute sacri- 
ledge — I must earnestly intreat that what I am now 
going to offer may not be tortur'd into a sense dif- 
erent from my meaning, that what I mean as gene- 
ral propositions may not be construed into invidi- 
ous personal attacks either direct or oblique. I ask 
then of those Gentlemen who have made history their 
Study (M' Purvyance and C*" may therefore give them- 
selves no trouble in attempting to answer) whether it 
is not repugnant to the prmciples of freedom and Re- 
publicanism to encourage an idea in the People that 
their liberty depends on one man ? whether there shou'd 
not be a rotation of officers military as well as civil, 
particularly the most important of all the Command in 
Chief? Whether there is an instance in the Annals 
of Mankind where this rule has not been observ'd of a 
Republic's being of any duration ? Whether supposing 
the Commander of an Ai-my possess'd of all the virtues 
of Cato and the talents of Julius Caesar, alters the eter- 
nal nature of the thing as by habituating the People to 
look up to one man, all true republican spirit is not 
enervated and a visible propensity to monarchical Gov- 
ernment created and foster'd ? whether it is not a most 
monstrous absurdity that a people who do not permit 
their civil Governors to continue more than a single 
year without a new election shou'd patiently suffer op 


rather insist on the Commander of their Troops who 
has so infinitely greater power in his hands being per- 
petual ? Whether there is not a charm in the long pos- 
session of high offices and the pomp and influence that 
attend it which may corrupt tne best dispositions ? it 
was the opinion of Marcus Aurelius whose virtues not 
only honour'd the throne, but human nature, that to 
have the power of doing much and confine that power 
to doing good was a prodigy in nature — such the senti- 
ments of this divine Prince who was not only train'd 
up in the schools of austere Philosophy, but w^hose ele- 
vated situation render'd him the most able Judge of the 
difficulty there is not in Power \vnen We 

have it in our hands to furnish substantial arguments 
for — and it will be thought no pedantiy in quoting 
'em — tho' it may be a difficult task M"" rurvyance to 
set such heads as are unfortunately set on the trunks 
of you and your Adjuncts right m any one point — I 
shall for once attempt the task — You have it seems by 
your misconception been led to interpret what was in 
fact rather a compliment into a national reflection on 
the French — it is a laV)orious and disagreeal)le under- 
taking I confess to emit a ray of light into a vessel 
which Nature never intended for its receptacle — there 
was a certain proposition in these queries the meaning 
of which was this — that men of enlarged minds, liberal 
sentiments and enlighten'd understandings when stripped 
of the common rights of men or disfi^anchis'd of the 
priviledffes of which those who surrounded them were 
possess'd, are from their sensibility much more wretch'd 
than those Animals on two legs who have no ideas at 
all of their natural rights — that the French Govern- 
ment is an absolute unlimited monarchy no body wall 
dispute — the only check therefore to despotism is the 
character of the Monarchs. I know very well that 
Mons' Montesquieu has enumerated customs and the 
spirit of honour in the nobless — but certainly where 
there is a power to imprison and no responsibility for 
the Prisoner power is unlimited Lord Bolingbroke 


says that Slavery does not absolutely consist in the 
number of stripes We receive but in the power another 
has to inflict 'em — the French Government is therefore 
in its present state ultimately despotick, but to the 
honour of the present Monarch it is not to be suppos'd 
that it [He] will not exert it, and to the honour oi the 
People it cannot be suppos'd from their liberal way of 
thinldng that They wou'd endure it if He shou'd at- 
tempt to exert it — but ♦ ♦ ♦^ 

To THE President of Congress. 

Elk Ridge, October ye 3^ 1780. 
As the Legislature of Virginia (the State of which I 
am a Resident) has thought proper to confiscate the 
property of all those whom They can deem British 
Subjects with scarcely any exceptions I really have not 
the confidence to draw upon England for the sums 
requisite for my support — for my Farm (from the 
abominable dishonesty of the Tenants and other causes) 
is rather a charge than a i)rofit so that I am really re- 
duced to a very distressing state of indigence — I most 
humbly request therefore that Congress will when They 
have call'd to mind the conditions on which Thev en» 
gaff'd me in their service devise some method oi f ur- 
nisning me with the means of subsistence in some 
measure adequate to the fortune I threw into the lap 
of America — I must intreat likewise Congress to take 
into consideration the singular predicament I stood in 
at the time I first engaged in the cause of this Country 
— a predicament so very different from that of all 
other men who embark'd in it — my fortune was cer- 
tainly very easy if not afl[luent for a private Gentle- 
man ; it cou'd not have been affected or the. tenure by 
which it was held render'd more precarious or arbi- 
trary (which wou'd have been the case of all whose 


property was seated in America) had the schemes of 
the British Ministry succeed'd to the extent of their 
wishes — on the contrary, had my principles permitted, 
I might have partook of the loaves and the fishes 
which wou'd have been at their disposal --My military 
pretentions were not inconsiderable ; it is most proba- 
ble that long before this, I shou'd have been at the 
head of a Regt but at any rate a Lt Colonelcy has 
been of late valued at more than five thousand guineas 
— these military pretentions i did not hesitate sacrific- 
ing to your liberties and this fortune from secure and 
independent I threw into a state of insecurity and an 
absolute depend ance on the success and good faith of 
America — in short without any prospect of bettering 
myself I risk'd the loss of my whole — indeed so exces- 
sive was my zeal that for very considerable property I 
stipulated no indemnification for instance my half pay 
£136 pr annum and 30000 acres of land 10000 of 
which (in the Island of St Johns) I had settled at the 
expence of eight hundred guineas when these things, 
Sir, are considered ; the circumstances I must have 
been in, had it not been for my zeal and enthusiasm 
for America, and the circumstances to which I am re- 
duced by my zeal and enthusiasm, I have not a 
moment's doubt but that Congress will make some 
decent provision for one who has risk'd and suffer'd so 
much in their service. 

I am. Sir, with the greatest respect, 

Yoxir Most obed humble Servt 

Charles Lee. 

When Congress honors me with an answer you will 
please Sir to direct to Mrs Goddard Printer Baltimore. 

P. S. I have just seen the most abominable aspersion 
on my character in Dunlap's paper the aim of which 
is to involve me in Arnold's treason — sure, Sir, [if] the 
Congress has not the power to restrain by any law. 


They have influence to keep in some decent order this 
Scoundrel Calumniator. 

[Note, The following article appeared in the Pennsylvania PUelcet or 
General Advertiser, Philadelphia, October 8d, 1780. 

To THE Printer op the Pennsylvania Packet. 

Upon the discovery of Arnold's design of betraying the Fort at West 
Point, and of delivering at the same time. His Excellency General Wash- 
ington into the hands of Sir Henry Clinton ; an article I read in a Cork 
newspaper and took a copy of, occurred to my mind. I send it to you 
with request that you will insert it in your next Packet It cannot now be 
doubte<l that Lee and Arnold upon their meeting at Valley Forge, upon 
the former's arrival from the city, had agreed to do everything they should 
ever have in their power to ruin the Army of the States, and to sacrifice 
our Illustrious Chief. 

I am. Sir, Yours, &«. 

Prom Flyn's Hibernian Chronicle, Jan. 14, 1779. 

" By some private circumstances which have lately come to light, re- 
specting Gkncral Lee's conduct, there is the highest suspicion and ground 
to believe, he was touched with English Guineas during his captivity — 
which accounts for his not annoying General Clinton more than he did, on 
his retreat from Philadelphia.'*] 

To THE President of Congress. 

October the 8'** 1780. 

Since I clos'd the letter which I did myself the honour 
of addressing to Congress, I have from many informa- 
tions, the strongest reason to think that Dunlap's hell- 
ish malignant libel will be attended with consequences 
fatal to myself and perhaps very dishonourable to the 
American character in the opinion of all the nations on 
Earth — in short the aim of this libel is manifestly 
pointing me out as a proper subject for the hand of 
Assassination and there is little doubt but that some 
wild fanatick or a collection of 'em will soon put it in ex- 
ecution unless Congress immediately devises some means 
of taking me under their protection, and the only means 
that occur to me is that they wiU publish their abhor- 


rence of so diabolical a proceeding — ^for Gods sake, Sir, 
if there is the least ground for suspecting my integrity 
let me be regularly called before Congress to clear up 
my character which I am confident I shall do without 
the least difficulty if I have committed any fault, been 
guilty of any treason it has been against myself alone, 
m not once from the beginning ot the contest to this 
day consulting common prudence with respect to my 
own affairs — so far from bargaining for vile lucre with 
the English General to sell your lives and fortunes — 
but of this, Gentlemen, I dare say you are yourselves 
convinc'd ; therefore I shall not say any more at pre- 
sent on the subject but confine myself to repeating my 
requests that you will take me under your protection 
either by the means 1 have taken the liberty to hint, or 
by any others that your wisdom shall dictate ; but I 
earnestly conjure you. Gentlemen, that you will take 
the matter into immediate consideration to save one who 
has prefer'd the liberties of your Country to all human 
interests, from a ruffian death, and which I apprehend 
wou'd fix a cimsiderable stain on the American charac- 
ter — in the mean time, I am, Sir, with the greatest re- 

Your most obedt humble Serv*. 

Charles Lee. 
His Excellency Henry Laurens. 

President of Congress. 


; ; Baltimore October y« 17*** 1780. 
My Dr Sir, 

I have ventured to draw upon you for one hundred 

E3unds sterling in favour of M' William Goddard and 
leazar Oswald — I have no doubt but that if you 
have the sum in your hands, you will immediately pay 
it, and if you have not, I must entreat you will make 


applications to either my Friends S' Charles Davers or 
S' Charles Bunbiiry, who I am sure will advance such 
a trifle, aud I pledge my word and honour They shall 
receive it with good interest in less than 18 months 
from the date hereof. 

In short I hope the time is now approaching when I 
shall have an opportunity of hearing frequently and 
even sometimes seeing my best Frijends, in the mean- 
time I hope you will enclose one of these Letters (for I 
write six) to one of these two S' Charles's and likewise 
that you will inform my sister that I received her 
letter from Bath, dated March y* 1 4th 1779, that I am 
very well, and hope to have an opportunity to write 
fully to her in a few days by a safe hand — 

Adieu, My D' Sir- 

CiiAULEs Lee. 

From John Francis Mercer. 

Dear Sir, 

An old Debt is now so strongly connected with a 
Tender that it must be dress'd in an uncommon Garb, 
not to raise the idea of its constant conccmiitant — A 
splendid Array of Justice to a growing Family of In- 
fants — a prudent provision for old Age cfe above all the 
Lex Talionis, are the common touches of our modern 
Virginia Painters in finishing of the Pictures of their 
old Accounts ; — I have one of the ( )hio Company's to 
settle with you so circumstanc'd that every prudential 
motive stronsclv dictates the 2:ettin<]r rid of it as soon as 
possiV>le — prudence shall not however so far jirevail 
over my honesty as to induce me to take advantage of 
the late iniquitous law of the Virginia Assembly, not- 
withstanding the last and only decent one of the com- 
mon place ex(»uses (mentioned above) applies most 
strongly to me having been paid off the whole j)ro(luce 
of two very considerable Sales of my Estates in this 

Currency — However, what I here beg leave to propose 
Vol. III.— 29 


to you, is the Discharge of this Debt in some manner 
that you shall agree to be V>oth just <fe generous — whilst 
at the same time I must promise that the situation of 
the Debt reduc'd as it is to a judgment, will force me 
to get quit of it if possible — It can only be paid off in 
the present currency of the countiy, no other mode be- 
ing now practicable — the proportion by which alone 
the Discharge can be rendered equitable remains to be 
fixed. You are so perfectly acquainted with the com- 
mon & necessary effects of War (paiticularly one pro- 
longed as this in America has been) in depreciating 
every medium & enhancing the necessaries of Life that 
it is hardly necessaiy for one to premise that this Debt 
cannot be proportioned agreeable to the prices they 
bear — It cannot by any means be estimated according 
to the rates of imported Articles lopt off as this Country 
is from all communication with the rest of the World 
— Nor by Hard Money — that is an imported Article & 
subject to all the Revolutions in value, that precarious 
demand & supply necessarily occasions — ^for instance 
when Tobacco was at £45 & £50 cfe Com @ £50 last 
year, it sold at from 50 to 55 Prices, now when Tobacco 
remains at 50 still & Com is reduc'd to 25 & at most 
j£30, it has started up to 80 & fi'om that to 100 Prices — 
An unexpected & heavy demand to supply the pressing 
wants of a large number of American rrisoners has 
caused this (otherwise) unaccountable variation in its 
value — But at New York where it is the medium 4 
Prices of it will not purchase the Produce of the 

Notwithstanding that as a Planter (feeling the weight 
of such enormous & encreasing Taxes, the aggravated 
expense of agriculture & well acquainted that for a 
series of years, from the unf avourableness of the Seasons 
<fe other causes, the proportion of Tobacco made in the 
Country has not averag d one sixth of the usual crops) 
You must readily agree that our Staple commodities 
should sell at least at three prices (independent of the 
great demand) Yet my anxiety to get honourably dis- 


chargVl of this Incumbrance, will induce me to average 
the Depreciation of the Currency by the Piices of those 
two Staples of this Country, Corn & Tobacco, & pay 
you off agreeaVjle to that state — that is rating Tobacco 
@ 25 shillings formerly now at £50 corn at 12/6. for- 
merly now at £25 or at most £30. This will amount 
to forty for one, which when you observe not only tallies 
with the new bills emitted under sanction of Congress 
leaving interest of 6 p' cent payable in Europe, but is 
also paid at a time when the Laws of our Country ren- 
der one Fortieth part a full discharge of the Debt— I 
am persuaded you will approve of both as just & gen- 
erous — To persuade you that I sett out on those Prin- 
ciples has occasioned my writing this long and circum- 
stantial Letter & now after present ing my best Respects 
to your Family I beg leave to assure you, that with 
sincere wishes for your Health, 

I am D"" Sir 

Your most oblig'd Friend & very hbe Sert. 

JoHX F^. Mercer. 

Fredericksburg January 20**" 1781. 

To Messrs. Inglis and Lono. 

Williamsburg, Jan'ry y* 26^ [1781] 

As it wou'd be extremely inconvenient to me to go to 
Norfolk, I shall be extremely oblig'd to you if you will 
send fivety to M' Edmund liandolph at Williamsburg, 
who will transmit it to me at Westover — I have sent 
you the bills fill'd up — You will farther oblige me 
Gentlemen, if you will commission somebody to inquire 
whether a lot sufficient for a house, stable, and small 
garden or large one (if possible) is to be purchas'd in 
the Town of rortsmouth, or near it upon tolerable rea- 
sonably teims, and in a pleasant situation — I shou'd beg 
pardon, Gentlemen, for imposing this trouble upon you, 


as I have not the pleasure of your acquaintance, but I 
have been encourag'd by the reputation of your readiness 
to oblige. Will you favour lue with a note on this sub- 
ject directed to Gen. Lee at Westover. 

I am, Gentlemen, Yours, 

C. Lee. 
To ]\Iess" Inglis & Long, 
at Norfolk. 

To LiEiT. Col. John Graves Simcoe. 

March 3"^ 1781. 
Deau Sir, 

From the liberality of mind vsrhich you are universally 
allowed to l)e V)lessed with, I have little doubt but that 
what I am about to offer to your consideration will be 
favourably received — but I must first premise that, what- 
soevei' some flaming zealots in the British army may in- 
sist to the contraiy, it is very possil)le that several who 
em])arked on this side in the present contest were very 
good Englishmen, and I can venture to assert that I am 
one of this stamp — for I considered that had the Min- 
istry succeeded in their scheme of establishing the prin- 
ciple of taxing America without her consent, the liber- 
ties of Great Britain would that instant have been an- 
nihilated in effect, though the form might have re- 
mained. For as the pecuniary influence of the Cro^vn 
was already enormously too great, so prodigious an addi- 
tional weight thrown into the preponderating scale must 
sink to utter ruin every part of the Empire — on the 
other hand I will venture to assert, notwithstanding all 
that some of the Jlmning fcwatics on this side may 
please to assume, that it is the interest of every good 
American that Great Britain should ever l)e a great, 
powerful, and opulent nation — but the measure she 
ought to j)nrsue, m my idea, to obtain and secure this 
power, opulence and greatness, I cannot at present with 
propriety explain ; but I can with propriety point out 


some which she ought not to pursue. For instance, hei 
Genei'als and Commanders ought not to suffer, or con- 
nive at by impunity, the little dirty piratical plunder- 
ing of individuals — such proceedings can only tend to 
widen the breach already, to the misfortune of both 
parties, much too wide by souring men's minds into a 
state of irreconcilable resentment : in short, it is dia- 
metrically repugnant, not (mly to the honor, but to the 
true interest and policy of Great Britain, abstracted 
from all considerations of the cruelty. and inhumanity 
towards very worthy families. But to be just, I really 
believe that most, if not all these flagitious scandalous 
acts are committed unknown to the English General and 
Commodore, as from the air and garb of the robbers 
they have not the appearance of being legally commis- 
sioned. This, my dear Sir, is the main purpose of my 
lettei', which I write as a good Englishman, as a good 
American, and as a gentleman addressing himself to an- 
other of whom he has a very high opinion ; and I have 
no doubt but tliat you will exert a)l your power and in- 
fluence to punish and put an end to such abominaV)le 

I have nothing to add, but t(5 entreat that whatever 
letters I may send in you will convey safely to my re 
lations. There is indeed one other favour I recpiest; 
which is, that you will by the first oppoi'tunity assure 
Sir Henry Clinton, General Ilol)inson, and General 
Leslie, of my personal respect and esteem, and I beg you 
will remember me kindly to General Phillips: — But 
above all I entreat you will believe me to be, most sin- 
cerely your's 

CiiAKLEs Lee. 

Fkom Thomas Lee. 

Bellevew, March 19'** 

Nothing, my Dear General, can exceed my concern 
for your distress ; M'. Lee informs me you are at pre- 


sent confined to your bed by a violent attack of the 
Gout. I lament with the whole family of Believe w, 
til at as you were to be in this part of the count ly very 
shortly, you should have been prevented by so disafijree- 
able a companion. I am veiy unhappy to hear (from 
your letter which I received yesterday) that a friend- 
ship which had subsisted so many years between 
you and Genl. Gates should (by the pride, folly, and 
stupidity of one woman") be entirely dissolv'd ; but really 
I can't say I was greatly surprised at it, for many rea- 
sons; as to Nourse's business I can and always shall 
vouch for your innocence, and his (I may justly term 
it) rascality, for I was astonished you could bear so 
much of his ill-treatment. 

I was much surprised indeed to hear that you had 
visited Col. Washington, but am very happy you were so 
well pleased [with] their behaviour. I always knew M". 
Washington to be a very sensible woman, but thought 
that she was like others of that name, entirely sway'd 
by popular prejudice. I have just returned from West- 
moreland wneie I can assure you the gentlemen in gen- 
eral are veiy staunch friends of yours, and are very 
anxious to see you. M'. & M". Lee have just set out 
from this place; she is really a veiy fine woman and I 
actually regret your not having seen her on your arrival 
in that Country, if you think she would now have been 
the queen of I^rato Rio. I have just supped with the 
fair Maria, and delivered your conunands sealed with a 
kiss. My Dear Gen. the whole family join me in insist- 
ing that you favor us with your company as soon as 
your disorder will permit you to travel — Even Becky 
foi'gives you if you will come to see her, and not be 
guilty of the like again. 

Send by the bearer my blank books, for I have been 
able to transcribe but very little for the want of paper 
which is not to be had. I am still reading Cicero, but 
can no where meet with Shakspeare — Excuse this 
wretched letter— it is now one o'clock and every one in 
bed but myself. 


I am and ever will be with sincere regard my dear 

Your friend and well wisher 

Thomas Lee. 

I have sent twenty weight of cotton which is as 
much as at present to be procured or the servant can 
cany — the rest will be sent by the next opportunitv. 

T. Lee. 
Major Gen. Charles Lee 

Berkley County 

To Robert Morris. 

Berkly County June y" 16*** 1781 
My dear Sir 

I have just receiv'd your two letters one dated May 
the le***, the other May y* 20^** and I lieartily thank you 
for 'em. They are friendly liberal frank and generous, 
and upon my word this is a style I have of late been 
not much used to. I shall therefore endeavour to an- 
swer the several heads with equal frankness liberality 
and ingenuousness — You tell me that it is said that from 

fique and resentments I am fall'n into defection ; that 
associate with none but tories, and that as it was I 
who principally impelled the Americans to this war it 
is of course incumbent on me not to deviate from the 
principles I professed and laboured to infuse into 
others; that he who was so great an instigator and 
prompter of. the war in the fii*st instance would act a 
monstrous part in assuming now another tone and 
preaching other doctrines — this is, I think the spirit 
if not the words of your two letters ; and on the pre- 
sumption that I conceive you right, I will confess my 
political principles and conduct as religiously as does 
the most superstitious Catholick to his father Confessor 


— in the first place both as an Englishman and Friend 
to America I exerted myself to the utmost, I wrote, I 
fouglit, I would liave mov'd heaven and earth to oppose 
and defeat the diabolical schemes of the B. MinistiT 
whicli if accomplished would not only [have] enslav'd this 
Coiuitry ])ut in the end have destroy d even the shadow 
and forms of the liberties of the Parental State, by so 
enormously adding to the pecuniary influence of the 
crown already grown to a most dangerous bulk — Wlien 
the idea of a declai-ation of Independence was first 
stai'ted I confess I had my doubts and feelings : but at 
lenorth I considered that unless America declared her- 
self inde])endent, she had nothing to cede which would 
not go to her vitals on accommodation : these were my 
princijdes, and on these principles I conducted myself 
and our point was gained — it may be indeed said that 
the Terms offered ))y G. Britain w^ere obtained by the 
means of the French Alliance; and I confess that the 
first Treaty with France as far as we saw of it was 
liberal or at least specious enough but is not the case 
now altered ? foi* if report truly represents the second 
treaty America is now fighting the Battles of the House 
of BourV)on, not her own, but be this as it may the true 
spirit of whiggism is now absolutely a stranger to 
the ])reasts and systems of those who at pi'esent take 
the lead in eveiy state of the Continent and those who 
are branded with the name of Tories are now the only 
true whigs they are those wdio were not only the most 
powerful and zealous opposers to the macliinations 
of the British Ministry but who are enemies to 
Tyranny whatever garb it assumes whether the Royal 
robes of England, the red cloaks of attorneys or 
waggoners frocks — in fact Tyranny is Tyranny how- 
ever dress'd but the first is certainly the least odious. 
I have no doubt but that those 1 associate with 
as well as myself are represented by the abettors 
of the Tyranny we at present groan under as Tories, 
They have no other means of charming down the voice 
of reason and truth than the epithet Toiy — is your 


Roberdean a Whig ? is Joe Reed or Peale the quon- 
dam Sadler a Whig ? is the disfrancliisement of a 
great part of the Peniisylvanian Citizens a Whiggish 
law ? IS the confiscation of the property of innocent 
Absentees, Men, women and children, Friends and 
Foes, indiscriminately a whiggish law is the total sup- 
pression of the freedom of tlie press or the felonious ten- 
der law by which property is at one slap transfer'd f roin 
the rifi^ht owners to those who have no claiui to it found- 
ed in Whiggism? if such men arewhigsand such laws 
and i)rinciples wliiggism I and my associates are undoubt- 
ed Tories and we glory in tlie name of it and to tell you 
the truth you have the honour to V>e class'd among^<t us, 
and I do assure you I have had violent disputes on this 
subject, y)ut enough of this, I shall only observe in 
addition that we m Virginia live (if it can be call'd 
living) neither under Monarchy Aristocracy nor Democ- 
racy — if it deserved any name it is a mac-ocracy that is 
a Banditti of Scotch Irish Servants or their immediate 
descendants (whose names generally begin with Mac) 
are our Lords and E,ulers--You tell me in your letter 
that you did not like the selling of my estate and that 
you were glad to liear I had made another purchase 
surely you could not have received the letter I wrote 
to you fi'om M' Bannister Carrols — I wrote not only to 
you but to Congress explaining the necessity of the 
measure unless they relieved me that indeed my es- 
tate was in itself a fine one, but from its not be- 
ing properly stock'd for cultivation and from the ex- 
cessive weight of Taxes I should be obliged to part 
with it and that I meant to purchase a smaller which 
I could cultivate as my present one was so far from 
furnishing me with a competence that it was I'ather an 
incumbrance. I suppose my letter to you miscarried 
as you have taken no notice of it but their silence I 
attribute to the height of their dignity and majesty 
which always overlooks such impertinent solicitations, 
but whatever my scheme was, it is probable I shall re- 
main in statu quo for the payment has not been made 


nor do I believe it ever will, so I must of coarse dimin- 
ish by inches and go out like the snuff of a candle, 
but before I finish this horrible long letter I cannot 
help expressing my curiosity (tho' I do not expect you 
shou'd clear it up) from whom you have received these 
reports of my demeanour defection and the character 
of my associates — I suspect it is from Gates indirectly 
in his reorard for me and fi'om old Nourse directlv in 
his enmity. Gates is a man I have always lov'd and 
whom I know to be full of good qualities ; but he is 
not a free agent ; that Medusa his wife governs with a 
rod of Scorpions — if you think it worth your while in- 
form yourself of young Tom Shippen how He suffered 
me to be treated under his own roof, and of the letter 
which this treatment drew from me as to Nourse — he 
is of all the men I ever had the misfortune to be con- 
nected with the most presuming overbearing and malig- 
nant — in short he is a man with whom if you do not 
agree in every tittle of religion and politics, that in- 
stant commences your most rancorous enemy — Such at 
least I have found him nor is my opinion or experience 
singular — it is the general decided character of the 
man — in fact the only Tory connexion I have in this 
Country is the family of the Wonnleys a family which 
inter nos has more virtue and principle than all the new 
fangled whigs put together, a family with whom all 
the true genuine whigs of Virginia live in friendly in- 
tercourse, and to whicli the flaming Nourse himself has 
thought it his interest to pay his court. All the rest 
of my associates are in every sense of the word tiaie 
genuine Whigs ; men who have not only been the most 
zealous and powerful opposers to the meditated tyran- 
nical schemes of the British Ministiy, but who are the 
detesters of the effectually tyrannical and felonious 
measures of our present misrulers — Men who are in 
reality the true adherents to the rights of mankind — 
You are, I find, placed at the head of the finances — it 
is an office I cannot wish you joy of, the labor is more 
than Herculean, the filth and dung of that Augean 


Stable is in my opiuion too great to be cleared away 
even by your sldll and industry, but however you suc- 
ceed in this I do assure you that you are almost the only 
man on the whole Continent in whose hands the man- 
agement of my pei*sonal finances I could wish should 
be deposited — Adieu Dr Sir, God bless you my sincere 
love and respects to M". Morris. 

Charles Lee. 

To William Goddard. 

Berkly County July y*^ 21'* 
My D^ Goddard — 

As your post rider objects to carry any more letters 
or papeis addressed to me at Mrs. Charletons, you have 
notning to do for the future but to enclose 'em to Mr 
James Smith Mercht. at the same place, to whom I 
have wrote on the subject, and who you may be assur'd 
will pay for 'em and receive 'em — for to say the truth, 
I had never once thought of this circumstance when I 
desired you to adclress 'em to M" Charleton — M"" 
Morris's silence both to you and me, amazes and indeed 
distresses me extremely — as 1 am anxious to pay my 
debts, and even the little that you have advanced (in 
this great dearth of hard money) gives me great un- 
easiness — However I have again written to M' Morris, 
and flatter that you will be fumish'd with a sum im- 
mediately to answer our present purposes — you seem to 
wish to be accommodated with a liorse immediately ; I 
fancy I forgot to inform you that the banditti of Horse 
stealers stripp'd me of every riding horse I had in the 
world, so that I have been oblig'd to half break two 
for my own use — and until the hot weather is over it 
wou'd be almost impossible to break a third — but when 
that is pass'd I will immediately set about it — I cou'd 
indeed at present ac or rather dis-accommodate you 
with a worn out full Brother of Rosinante — but I think 
you had better wait 'till you can be furnished with one 


that is neither scandalous nor unserviceable — the papers 
you sent up have had a most powei-ful operation in this 
country — The People stare at and curse their own 
passive stupidity in submitting to sucli al)ominable 
outrages and tyranny — a dozen more wou'd be suffi- 
cient, but I cou'd wish the note were added — Now I 
talk of stareing, I cannot he!]) staring myself at some 
late resolves oi Congress and several of the Assemblies 
— As far as They can be understood They amount to 
tliis, that They are resolv'd not to make any peace how- 
ever salutary and glorious, untill their good Allies are 
satisfy'd which construed into plain Knglisli is tliat 
Tliey will make no peace until France has stripped G. 
Britain of all her possessions in the W. and East Indies, 
in short until France has acquir'd the full Empire of 
the Ocean which added to her inunense national strength, 
will enable her to give law to the whole world and 
amongst the rest scourge the Americans themselves 
whenever They grow naughty or refractory — it is notor- 
ious that the [Aurum] Gallicum, or royal French gold 
specifick, has had wonderful operations cm pul)lic 
Bodies of men at different times in several parts of 
Europe, and there is reason to believe that it has 
operated with not less success on public Bodies of men 
on this side of the Atlantick — for it is impossible to 
accoimt by any other means for so torturVl a Construc- 
tion or rather so positive an inversion as that Article 
betwixt America and France respecting the power of 
making peace I mean the only treaty })resented to the 
eyes of the People, and if Ccmgress have by any subse- 
quent treaty not imparted to the People bound them- 
selves to what is now thrown out They are the most 
damnable Traitors — but adieu — 

C. Lee. 


From Edward Dorset. 

Elk Ridge, Sept'. 10. 1781. 

I rec^. voiir Favour, dated Aui^ust 25^*" and am much 
oblifijed to you for your good opmion of me, iu Regard 
to the Reports made to you m Regard to our Con- 
tract. I assure you G. Lee I do intend paying you 
honestly for the Land purchas'd of you as soon as I can 
— and any Reports you should have heard to the con- 
trary I assure you is false. I have heard G. Lee by 
many that you should say, you was almost confident of 
my forfeiting the Article & that you had rented it well 
& should get about £600, and your Land again. I 
know G. Lee you was very particular of informing your- 
self whether I had comply'd with the 3 first Payments, 
which if it had not been comply'd with the articles 
would have been forfeited and you would have had 
the advantage of availing yourself of the bond, you say 
no man who is not in the last state of delirium could 
enter into so insane a Contract. You seem to insinuate 
that it was the spirit of agreement if the whole was 
not paid in six months the Bargain was void. Now G. 
Lee what of Delirium must you have thought me to 
have been in to have given you or any man living such 
an advantage of my Ignorance — you know G. Lee that 
the mode ot agreement you brought from M"*. Delany 
was to that purpose. But I immediately objected to it 
and told you I would not Lay myself under such an 
Article to no Man living — I assure G. Lee that I do in- 
tend the Purchase made of you for my Sons — You must 
be sensible that it Lays in my Power to take the ad- 
vantage w^as it my Intention — I intend giving myself 
the Pleasure of weighting on you about the 5^^ next 
Month, when we may talk Matters over M™ Dorsey 
joins me in Complyment with 

Your Humble Serv^ 

Edw^ Dorsey, son of John. 


From Charles Carroll. 

Sept^ 25^ 1781. 
D^ Sir, 

I have your favour of the 20th past, which refers me 
to yours of the 26th of last May which you think is not 
full}' answered by mine of the 2*^ of June. 

The Question you put to ine in yours of the 26th of 
May, is, whether I did not understand that in case the 
full payment was not made in sterling or hard money 
on the 10^*" of May you should be at liberty to sell your 
Land to Others. 

In answ^er I declare upon my Honor & I would as 
readily declare it upon oath that I did not understand 
that you was to be at liberty in case the full payment 
w^as not made on the 10th of May, to sell your Land to 
any othere. 

In support of this declaration I must remind you that 
the first Knowledge I had of your agreement with M^ 
Dorsey was from your telling me you had sold your 
Land to Him for two Guineas p'. acre cfe that He was 
to pay in six months, & I remember I told you that I 
did not think any man in Maryland could make so gi-eat 
a payment in so short a time. 

Soon after you & M'. Dorsey came to me with articles 
in your Hand Writing which I reduc'd into what I 
thought a more regular fomi. Copies of both are in- 
closVi taken from the originals in M^ Dorsey's liands. 
From these copies with the final agreement between 
you Sz M^ Dorsey which you sent me, it does not ap- 

{)ear to me that you was to be at liberty to sell your 
^and in case M^ Doi'sey did not make the full payment 
on tlie 10*^ of May. I further declare I know' no more 
of y';^ <fe M"" Dorsey's agreement cfe intentions than w^hat 
I have set forth & may be collected from the papers 
refeii'ed to. I am 

D' Sir, Y' mo : Hum : Serv*. 

Chas: Carroll. 


FiiOM Major Evan Edwards. 

York Town 
My D*. Lee, 

There are few circumstances that gives me equal 
pleasure to that of hearing from my Friends, and as my 
esteem for you has ever increas'd in proportion to your 
misfortunes in the road of persecution ; I am always 
made happy in a line from you, as it announces your 
present situation. 

Your being rob'd of your Horses is a common evil, 
and consequent to a country destitute of Law — its fall- 
ing harder on you than any other Person is what I should 
have expected from the disposition of wretches always 
disposed to heap coals on the head of the injur'd. 

1 am happy ever in having it in my power to in- 
form you of the good esteem in which you are held in 
the Army — And that they are not now (whatever they 
have been) inclin'd to pursue the track of persecution, 
beaten so bare as it is, by Creatures, whose praise would 
be a dishonor to any honest man. 

Poor Fleury the other day called me a one side to 
whisper to me, and after looking round him to prevent 
a possil)ility of being overheard, he ask'd me what had 
become of you. I could not help smiling, and in my 
reply telling him you were very well, and that he need 
not be afraid of acknowledging an acquaintance with 
Genl. Lee, in the most public Assembly in America — 
That I esteemed it an honor to call myself his Friend 
— ^that my sincere attachment to him was amply re- 
warded by the universal approbation of all good and 
sensible men. He answer'd me, he was very glad of it 
— it was eveiy where known in France that you had 
been ill treated, and that every person lamented your 

The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis and his Army will 
reach you before this letter — I think this is a cii'cum- 
stance that must secure to America her Independence. 


Wliat will follow I leave to time. It must have been 
a mortifying circumstance to my Lord to have solicited 
terms, as no demand of a surrender was made. We 
had just completed our second parallel at two hundred 
yards from his main works. 

In the capitulation he was not permitted to uncase his 
Colours, or to beat an American or French march — You 
w\l\ probably see your friend O'Hara who is a Prisoner. 

We expect now to go on to Charles Town to invest 
that place. The moment I can obtain permission to 
leave the Ai-my I will repair to your hermitage and 
spend some time with you — w^here I promise myself 
much satisfaction. 

Untill then believe me Your affectionate and unalter- 
able friend 

E. Edwards. 

21st October 1781. 

I yesterday got a Letter fi'om Cadwallader he desires 
to be particularly remembered to yoa 

To Miss Sidney Lee. 

Virginia, Dec' ye irM781. 
My Deauest Sister, 

The last year I wrote you many letters by different 
hands, but (jod knows whether a single one has reach'd 
you — Your last letter made me extremely happy ; or 
more properly doubly happy ; as it assur'd me of your 
health and spirits, and of the reception which my Court 
Martial met with in England, indeed it made its own 
comments. I remember it was once ask'd, I think it 
was M" Hinks ask'd me, when I intended to put a 
period to my peregrinations? My answer, was, that 
whenever I cou d find a Country where power was in 
righteous hands — on this principle, I now find, I may 
be a pilgrim to all eternity. Great God, what a Dupe 


and a victim have I been to the talisinanic name of 
Liberty ! for I now have reason to believe (irom the 
materials of the Modern World) that this bright God- 
dess is a Chimera — but I must not warm on this sub- 
ject, but stop before I run into leze Majeste. I shall 
therefore confine myself to a few comfortable facts, l""^ 
that I am much rejoiced that you are in health and 
spirits ; 2ndly, that I am well not only in these two 
points, but that I am sound in honour ; that is to say 
the whole Continent cries out loudly against the ini- 

?uitou8 tribunals before which my affaii* was brought, 
can now say no more ; my love to all our friends and 
relations; and be assured, there is not on earth a more 
affectionate Brother than Yours 

Charles Lee. 

To D. Delany. 

Dumfries Dec' ye 17"* [1781.] 
Dr. Sir, 

I received your letter inclos'd from M' Goddard — 
You ask me if Mr. Dorsey pay'd the sum to Byrd by 
the day prescrib'd by the agreement. He did — but M*^ 
Dorsey knows (and if He is an honest man) must con- 
fess it that the spirit of our bargain was that unless 
He pay'd the whole sum on the tenth of May, 1781, 
the bargain was to l)e void — but to dwell on this sub- 
ject wou'd be impertinent — as the papers I sent to God- 
dard (and which I conclude He lias laid before you) 
explains the whole transaction as fully as I am able, 
as likewise my sense of the spirit of it — the question 
now is if M' Dorsey does not pay the whole sum by 
the first of January, I am oblig'd to keep it for his con- 
veniency, until He can dispose of it to better advantage 
— whether I am neither to sell it or rent it on refund- 
ing the sums advanc'd which do not amount to three 
hundred pounds sterling 1 have therefore only to in- 
treat if M'' or M"^ Goddard have not laid aside all these 
Vol. III.— 30 


papers letters and proposals before you, that you 
will apply for 'em — and give your opinion on the case 
in a letter inclosed to M' Graham of this place — Many 

food Judges think the land not worth the money, but 
owever 3 you wou'd desire M' Goddard or any other 
Person to communicate this opinion to M' Dorsey and 
at the same time that I am willing to refund the pay- 
ments made you will oblige me Colonel Corbin and 
Colonel Martin in pai'ticular who are generally esteem'd 
competent Judges of Land, are firmly of this opinion, for 
my own part, 1 shall be well satisfyed if He can make 
the payment good by the day prescribed, but I do not 
chuse to hold it as a Tenant at will or much worse. 

Our Assembly has done one good thing to the amaze- 
ment of all who know 'em. They have repealed the 
Tender law — My respect to your Lady and Daughter 
and God bless you. 

C. Lee. 

To Mrs. Katherine Goddard. 

Dr. Madam, 

I have (on the supposition that your Brother may be 
absent) taken the liberty to address this letter inclos'd 
for JVIr. Delaney to you I chose to send it unsealed 
for your perusal, for a reason you yourself will perceive 
— I mean the circumstance relative to the papers I sent 
to your Brother — it is inconceivable the desire I have 
to be acquainted with you — for upon my soul I love 
(and I ought to love) your Brother and Oswald more 
than any other two men on this Continent — My love of 
course extends to you — Adieu Madam. 

C. Lee. 
M" K. Goddard 

Printeress at 



. To Benjamin Rush. 

Prato Rio, Dec'r ye 19'*^ 1781. 

I have just time and paper to acrihle half a sheet to 
you, My Dr. Rush, therefore the little I have to say I 
must crowd into incoherent sentences. Your letter 

fave me great pleasure — Our puVjlic affairs are in a 
oi'rible way. We have neither money ci*edit nor repu- 
tation — but these considerations alarming as they ai*e 
are trifling comparatively with our dearth of virtue and 
every quality requisite for the mode of Government 
adopted — Of all reople on eaiih (I speak of the Mid- 
dle States^ the Americans seem to be the most destitute 
of republican ideas and qualifications — Not only the 
press is stopp'd but that degree of freedom of Conver- 
sation permitted at Constantinople, is not tolerated in 
Virginia Maryland or Pensylvania — the Morals of the 
People (perhaps from the depreciation of the Cui'rency) 
are so entirely corrupted, that if two Neighbors sit 
together the one holds his hand on his pocKet (if He 
has anything in it) to prevent its being pick'd by the 
other — in short I see no road to salvation but one, and 
1 care not who knows my sentiments, which is to pro- 
pose immediately to the British General, if He has 
powers to negotiate a cessation of arms by land and by 
sea for two three four or six years, and that during the 
Cessation each Party shou'd hold undisturbedly what 
they possess and from what I have seen of the treaties 
France couM have no grounds of complaint as a viola- 
tion of Faith America wou'd have then time to look 
about her to examine her resources, in Men, Pro\dsion 
Revenue and Maritime force — but above all her fund 
of Virtue necessary for the plan of Government pro- 
jected, that is a federation of Republicks, and if she 
finds herself strong enough in these requisites, the Gov- 
ernment adopted may be adhered to — if she is deficient 
She may then chuse her Protector G. Britain or France 


— and in the interim She may depend upon being 
courted by both Powers — heal her sores, ana establish 
a credit — this I solemnly protest seems to me her best 
nav her only policy — I shou'd be happy to have your 
opinion on the subject^ — but as I am going down the 
Country you must direct to me under cover to James 
Hunter, Esq, near Fredericksburg — Such is my com- 
plaisance for you that I had determined to be a very 
orthodox Christian — I have read wnth this view the 
whole divine legation of Moses to the great Doctor 
Warburton — Mv choice I am afraid was injudicious, 
for whoever believes in him, nuist have an utter det^js- 
tation for the God of the Jews — You see however 1 am 
open to conviction — pray recommend me to some abler 
Apothecary — My love to Mrs. Rush — and believe me 
to be most affectionately Yours 

C. Lee. 


I — A B — having the fear of God before my eyes and 
having a most sincere regard for the honour w^elfare 
and understandings of my fellow citizens do make this 
solemn confession of 'my sins and follies, and do most 
sincerely hope and pray that others my fellow Citizens 
may eschew the evil steps I have trod in — I confess to 
my shame, but with hopes that the cnme will be for- 
given by the infinite mercy, that instigated by the 
jDevil (as nothing but the Devil could have supported 
me in so arduous a task) have read with a most aston- 
ishing perseverance the whole five volumes of B War- 
burton s [most damnable] as he calls it divine legation 
of Moses, for which having recovered my understand- 
ing I do most sincerely ask pardon of all Good English- 
men, Good Protestants Good Christians for this [most 
horrible mispending of my time | misprision of treason 
ngainst and human understanding. 

It appears My Dr Countiymen, from the writings of 


this Doctor Warl)m'toii that he is an exceeding wicked 
man — ^that he holds two principles — that he is a Mani- 
chean — which is no less than putting the Devil on the 
same footing witli God Almighty — lor instance, what 
God orders on one hand the Devil unorders on the 
other hand — but his reprobatism goes still further, He 
has attempted to prove (but I pray God and am in 
hopes from the absurdity of his arguments) that his 
intention will be defeated — He has attempted to prove 
that Moses on whose authority our holy religion is 
originally established and who was admitted to tete a 
tete conversation w'th God Almighty — was either 
ignorant or affected to be ignorant of this most impor- 
tant point the immortality of the Soul, for it must, my 
Dr. Human creatures be allowed that Moses was 
ac(juainted with this fact * * * 

From D. Delany to William Goddard. 

Thursday Morning. 

On perusing the articles between General Lee & 
Mess" Dorsey, I observe that they agreed to pay to M' 
Byrd £250 or £260 in Continental Money at the 
Exchange at the time of Payment to you, on or before 
the 1'^ of Dec' 1780 £55— or £60, 'in hard Cash, or 
Paper Money at the Exchange at your choice, to G. 
Lee on the signing the Articles £60. — if M' Byrd 
should object to the Mode of Payment, or make no 
application for it on or before the 20**" December 1780, 
then the Payment to be made to M' Carroll on or before 
the 10th Jatf 1781. — then follows the Article, that if 
the above Payments be not made on or before the 10th 
Jany. 1781, tnen Genl. Lee may sell the Land to any 
other Person, and Mess" Dorsey to forfeit the Money 
paid by them on or before the 10**" Jany. 1781. — it 
being the material Part of the Case to be considered, I 


shou'd be glad you wou'd inform me, if you can, 
whether the Payments above referred to, were made 
according to Agreement, or if not, whether they have 
been made since, & accepted ? 

M' Dorsey mentions in Ins Letter to Gen. Lee Sept' 
10. 1781. that he objected to what I had recommended 
to Genl. Lee, from which it is to be inferred that the 
agreement was fi-amed for the Pui-pose of avoiding 
what otherwise might have been the Consequence, if 
not strictly pei*formed — if you can give me any Infor- 
mation on this Matter, be pleased to communicate it to 

I am Sir, your humble Serv* 
M' G[oddard.] D. D[elany.] 

Power of Attorney. 

Know all Men l)y these Presents that Whereas I the 
Su])scriber Charles Lee of Berkley County in Virginia 
by articles of Agreement bearing date the tenth day of 
November one tnousand seven hundred and eighty in 
consideration of certain covenants and payments to be 
thereby perfonned and made to me by Edward Dorsey 
son of John of Ann Arundel County in Maryland and 
Ezekiel John Doi'sey of Baltimore County covenanted 
and agreed to convev to the said Edward and Ezekiel 
John Dorsey their heii-s and assigns an indefeasible 
estate in fee simple with general warranty of in and to 
that tract of Land called Hopewell in Berkley County 
in Virginia by me purchased of Jacob Hite deceased 
and the said Edward and Ezekiel John Dorsey agreed 
to pay unto me two Guineas per acre in hard cash for 
two thousand six hundred acres more or less part of the 
said Land and five shillings sterling per acre for the 
residue being one hundred and fifty acres of the said 
Land in the manner and at the time hereinafter mention- 
ed (to wit) To pay to William Byrd two hundred and 
fifty or not exceeding two hundred and sixty pounds 


sterling in continental money at the exchange at the 
time of payment To pay William Goddard on or before 
the first day of December one thousand seven hundred 
and eighty fifty five or sixty pounds in hard Cash or 
paper money at the exchange at the choice of the said 
William Goddard. To pay me at or before the sign- 
ing of the said articles sixty pounds Maryland money 
in hard cash and the remaining sum at the expiration of 
six months from the date of the said ai'ticles as will more 
fully appear by their bonds to me of the same date, 
and if the said William Byrd shall object to the mode 
of payment or make no application for it on or before 
the twentieth day of December one thousand seven hun- 
dred and eighty then the said Edward and Ezekiel John 
Dorsey agreed to pay the same into the hands of Charles 
Carroll, Esq', in hard Cash on or before the tenth day 
of January one thousand seven hundred and eighty one 
for my use And in case of the said Edward and Ezekiel 
John Dorsey should not make the three first mentioned 
payments on or before the said tenth day of January 
then that I the Subscriber might sell to any other per- 
son the aforesaid tract of Land and the said Edward 
and Ezekiel John Dorsey to forfeit anj^^ money by them 
paid on or before the said tenth day of January and that 
the possession should be given and the land conv^eyed 
to the said Edward and Ezekiel John Dorsey on their 
payment of the purchase money as will more fully ap- 
pear by the bonds passed on the day of the date of the 
said Articles for all and every the particulars hereinbe- 
fore recited the Subscriber for greater certainty doth 
hereby refer to the said articles, and whereas the said 
Edward and Ezekiel John Dorsey by their own bond 
or obligation bearing date also the tenth day of Novem- 
ber one thousand seven hundred and eighty were bound 
in the j)enalty ten thousand nine hundred and ninety 
five pounds Sterling unto me the Subscriber on the con- 
dition that the full and just value of five thousand four 
hundred and ninety seven pounds ten shillings sterling 
should be paid on or before the tenth day oi May one 


thousand seven hundred and eighty one according to 
the Articles above recited and referred to as by refer- 
ence to the said Bond or obligation may more fully and at 
large appear, And Whereas the aforesaid Edward and 
Ezekiel John Dorsey have not executed or performed 
what on their part ought in pursuance of the agreement 
aforesaid to have been by them executed and performed. 
And Whereas notwithstanding the great alteration of 
circumstances since the time thereby appointed and 
limited and the loss and disadvantage which I have suf- 
fered and sustained for their non perfoimance of the 
aforesaid agreement within the time and in the manner 
directed and required by the terms of our contract 
Nevertheless with the intent and for the purpose of 
preventing and avoiding any dispute controversy or liti- 
gation which might otherwise happen I the Subscriber 
do by these presents authorize constitute and appoint 
William Goddard of Baltimore County in Maryland 
Esq', and Katherine Goddard his sister of the said 
County my joint and separate Attornies for me and in 
my name and on my behalf jointly or separately to call 
upon require and demand of the aforesaid Edward and 
Ezekiel John Dorsey to make a full payment to my said 
Attornies or either of them on my benalf of the j)rin- 
cipal sum remaining still due unto me with Interest 
thereon from the time when the same according to the 
terms of their Contract above referred to ought tf) have 
been paid and to give them the said Edward and 
Ezekiel John Dorsey notice that in case the said pay- 
ment be not made within Eighty days from the demand 
thereof the same will not be accepted or received by me 
or on my behalf at any time thereafter but in case the 
said payment shall be made according to the demand 
aforesaid then and in such case I do hereby further 
authorize and appoint my said Attornies jointly or sep- 
arately for me and in my name to convey the aforesaid 
tract of Land called Hopewell in the Articles above re- 
cited mentioned to the aforesaid Edward and Ezekiel 
John Dorsey their heirs and assigns with such warranty 


and in such manner and to such intent and purpose as 
in the said Articles 1 covenanted and agreed with them 
to convey the same and in case that the payment afore- 
said to be demanded as aforesaid be refused or neglect- 
ed to be made by the said Edward and Ezekiel John 
Dorsey after demand thereof and within the time above 
appointed and limited then and in such case I do by 
these presents authorize and appoint my said Attorneys 
in my name and on my behalf to offer to the said Ed- 
ward and Ezekiel John Dorsey to repay them such sum 
and sums of money as they have neretofore paid in 
pursuance of their agreement aforesaid and have l)een 
received on my account or to my use with legal in- 
terest on such sum or sums as aforesaid paid by 
them from the time of their payment thereoi On the 
following condition nevertheless (to wit) that they 
fully and absolutely discharge me and the land afore- 
said from all and every claim and demand whatsoever 
respecting the Articles above recited and that they 
deliver up the same to be cancelled and destroyed. In 
Witness whereof 1 have hereunto affixed my hand and 
seal tliis twenty fii-st day of December in the year one 
thousand seven hundred and eighty one. 

Charles Lee. Iseal.: 

Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of 
William Carr. 
Richard Graham. 

Commonw^ealth of Virginia : Prince William County, Sc\ 

I Robert Graham Clerk of the Court of the said 
County do hereby certifie that William Carr and Rich- 
ai'd Graham, Gentlemen who have subscribed this Letter 
of Attorney from Charles Lee Esq. to William Goddard 
Esq and Catherine Goddard his Sister as Witnesses to 
the same were at the time and still are Justices of the 
Peace for the County aforesaid And further that full 
faith and credit is and ought to be given to such their 
signing in Justice Court and thereout In Testimoney 


whei'eof I Lave hereunto affixed the seal of the said 
County this twenty first day of November one thousand 
seven hundred and eighty one. 
:;•;;••': Robert Graham Co. Clh. 

Letter of Attorneys. 

Baltimore Janu^ 8**^ 1782. 

Me^s*". Edward and Ezekiel John Dorset^ 

We wnte this Lettei' to inform you, that we have re- 
ceived a Power of Attorney from Charles Lee of Berkley 
County in Virginia, and that you may be fully acquaint- 
ed with the nature <fe Pui*port of the said Power, we 
inclose herein an exact copy thereof, and the original in 
our possession (in virtue whereof we have agreed to act) 
shall be produced & she\vn to you or either of you or 
any other person or persons you may appoint wnen re- 
(piired. Under & in pursuance of the said Power, 
we as the joint attorn ies of the said Charles Lee for 
him <fe in his Name cfc on his behalf, do hereV)y call upon 
require & Demand of you to make full payment unto 
us, on the liehalf of the said Charles Lee of the princi- 
pal Sum remaining still due to him with Interest thereon 
from the time when the same according to the Terms of 
your Contract referr'd to in the said Power of Attorney, 
ought to have })een paid, and we hereby in pursuance 
of the said power expressly give you notice that in case 
the said payment be not made, within Eighty Days 
from the time of this demand thereof, the same will 
not be accej:)ted or received by the said Charles Lee or 
on his behalf at any time thereafter. But in case the 
said payment shall be made according to the said De- 
mand, then & in such case we, as the Attornies of the 
said Charles Lee, for him and in his name will convey 
the Tract of Land called Hopewell mentioned in the 
said Power of Attorney unto you, your Heirs and 


Assigns with such Warranty and in manner & to such 
intent & purpose as the said Charles Lee agreed with 
you to convey the same And in case the payment de- 
manded as aforesaid be refus'd or neglected to be made 
by you according to the Demand aforesaid and within 
the time above appointed & limited, then & in such 
case, We, as the Attomies of the said Charles Lee, in 
his Name & on his behalf, offer to you, to Repay you 
such sum & sums of Money as you have heretofore 
paid in pui*suance of your Agreement with the said 
Charles Lee, and have been receiv'd on his account or 
to his use, with legal Interest thereon from the time of 
your payment thereof, on the following condition (to 
wit) that you fully & absolutely Discharge the said 
Charles Lee and the Land aforesaid from all and eveiy 
claim <fe Demand whatsoever respecting the Articles of 
Agreement refer'd to in the said Power of Attorney, 
and that you deliver up the said Articles to be cancell d 
& Destroy'd. 

Having undertaken to act on the behalf of the said 
Charles Lee as his Attornies under the Power above 
refer'd to. We hereby give you Notice that we are, and 
shall be ready & willing to Execute and Perform on 
the behalf of the said Cnai-les Lee, all cfe every part of 
the Power & Authority by him Confer'd on us accord- 
ing to the true Intent & Meaning of the aforesaid Ap- 
pointment, and do hereby request that you will fully 
& Explicitly without delay give us Notice what you 
on due consideration shall, or may require of us in our 
Capacity, as the Attoniies of the said Charles Lee, to 
do, execute or perform on his behalf in pursuance of the 
Power above refered to. We, on our part being willing 
& desirous faithfully to execute the said Power accord- 
ing the true Intent & meaning thereof. 

Your speedy answer to this Letter we request 

William Goddard, 
Kathewnk Goddard, 

Attornies of Charles Lee of 
liei'kley County Virginia. 


Memwandum. — On the 8^*" Ins'. I deliver'd a Letter of 
w*"*" the within is a true copy to Edward Uorsey one 
of the parties to whom the said Letter is addressed, 
enclosing an exact Copy of the Power of Attorney 
from Charles Lee of Berkley County Virginia to Wil- 
liam ife Katherine Goddard of Baltimore therein men- 
tioned, who promis'd to give the said Attornies a full 
& Explicit answer in a few days. 

On the 10th Inst. Ezekiel John Dorsey the other of 
the parties to whom the said Letter is address'd, ac- 
knowledg'd that he had seen the said Papers and that 
he in concert with his father Edward Dorsey, would 
give an answer to the said Attornies as soon as possible. 

Pat. Ckawley. 

Baltimore, Janu> 11th 1782. 

RoBEKT Morris to Mr. <fe Miss Goddard. 

Philad" March 4. 1782. 
Sir and Madam — 

On your Representing to me as Attornies of Gen. 
Charles Lee of Virginia the disagreeable circumstances 
in which he is Involved by certain Articles of Agree- 
ment In writing between him the said Charles Lee & ' 
Edward & Ezelviel John Dorsey of Baltimore, and that 
from these Embarrassments he may be relieved by 
Repaying to the said Mess" Doi'sey the amount ad- 
vanced by them on account of the said Conti'act — being 
very desirous in this Instance to serve oblige and 
accommodate Genl Lee I have agreed and do hereby 
agree to authorize you to draw on me one Sett of 
Exchange in favour of the said Dorseys payable ten 
days after sight for the Sum of One hundred and sixty 
six Pounds l*2/6 this Currency in Specie or Such part 
thereof as may be needfull — And also to draw one 
othei* Sett of Bills of Exchange on me in favour of 
Wm. Bird, Esq. of Alexandria in Virginia for the Sum 


of Four hundred and one Pounds this currency in 
specie or any part of the same — payable at three four 
or six months after sight — Provided always that on 
such drafts being by you Passed on me the said Genl. 
Lee be truly and Effectually exonerated discharged 
and Released from the aforesaid Articles of Agreement 
subsisting between him & the said Dorseys for the Sale 
of a Tract of I^and called Hopewell — situate in Berkely 
County in the State of Virginia — agreeable to Promise 
of the said Dorseys to you as Attornies to the said 

I am, Sir and Madam, 

Your obedt. hble Serv? 

RoB*^ Morris. 
To M' Wm Goddard & M" Catherine Goddard 

^ Attorneys to Genl Chas. Lee of Virginia. 

William Goddard to Robert Morris. 


I have the satisfaction to acquaint [you] that I have 
this Day brought Genl. Lee's Business to a happy Con- 
clusion, Mess" Dorseys having given up & delivered to 
my Sister & me, as Attornies to Gen^ Lee, the articles 
of Agreement executed by him for the Conveyance of 
certain Lands in Berkley County, Virginia, for the Pur- 
pose of vacating the said Agreem' & cancelling the 
said Articles, as will more clearly appear by a Perusal 
of the enclosed Papers which is a true Copy of a writ- 
ing executed by Mess" Dorseys, now in my possession. 
Thus Sir, thro' your generous and seasonable Assistance, 
I have been able truly <fe effectually to exonerate dis- 
charge and release Gen. Lee from the embarrassing 
Articles of agi'eement subsisting between him and Mess" 
Dorseys for the sale of a Tract of Land called Hope- 
well, which, by all ace' is worth near double the sum 
the Dorseys were to have paid ; a cii'cumstance I shall 


fully represent to the General, as well as communicate 
to him what you were pleased to mention to me when 
I had the Honour of an Interview with you. In Con- 
sequence of this Settlement, cfe bv virtue of the Power 
you have given to my Sister <fe me, we have drawn 
upon you in favor of Mess" Clark & Man waring for 
£166, in two Bills (one for £97. 5. & the other for 
£68. 15.) paya))le 10 days after sight — these Gentle- 
men having furnished the Money necessary for produc- 
ing the Consequences which have taken Place. Flat- 
tering myself that the Explanation I have given will 
be satisfactory to you ; I shall trouble you no farther 
than to add tnat I am with great Respect 

Your most Obedt Serv* 


Hon. Rob* Morris. 


Know all men by these Presents that I General 
Charles Lee, of Berkley County & Province of Virginia 
am held and firmly Bound unto Edward Dorsey son of 
John of Ann Ainindel County, and Ezekiel John Dorsey 
of Baltimore County Both of the Province of Maiyland 
in the full and just sum of ten thousand nine hundred 
& ninety five pounds sterling money to be paid unto 
the said Edward &, Ezekiel John Dorsey theu' Certain 
Attorney Heirs Executors Administrators or assigns to 
the which payment well and truly to be made and 
Done I bind myself My heirs Executors Administrators 
and Every of them firmly By these Presents sealed with 
my seal and dated this tenth day of November one 
thousand seven hundred and Eighty. 

The Condition of the above Obligation is such, that 
if the above Bound General Charles Lee his heirs Exe- 
cutors or any of them Do make over unto said Edward 
<fe Ezekiel John By Good and Sufliicient Deed of Gene- 
ral Wan-antee Clear of all Incumbrances A Certain 


tract or Parcel of Land Called Hopewell Lying and 
Being in Berkley County & Province of Virginia Con- 
taining and Laid out for two thousand seven hundred 
<fe fifty acres of Land more or less on tlie Payment of 
their Bond Given to General Lee for five thousand four 
hundred and ninety seven pounds ten Shillings Ster- 
ling money as will more fully appear by Articles of 
Agreement Mutually entered into by the parties above 
Mentioned then the Above Obligation to be void Else 
to Remain in full force and virtue in Law. 

Charles Lee. jseal.: 

Signed Sealed and Delivered in Presence of 
Joshua Brown 
William Frost 
Rachel Dorset 

Rec^ November 10th 1780. of Edward Dorsey Son 
of John the !Sum of sixty pounds two shillings and six 
pence in gold and silver in part of the within Bond 
Equal to Thirty six pounds one Shilling & Six pence 
Sterling money 

Charles Lee. 
£36: 1: 6: stg. 

Endoi'sed : G. Charles Lee. Bond to Ed. and Ezekiel John Doreey for the 
Conveyance of liis Estate in Berkley County, Virginia. [Gen' Lee's Interest 
being in Jeopardy, and lie liable to be paid in depreciated Paper for a ster- 
ling debt, his JBerkl/ty Entate was snatched like a Brand out of the Bum- 
mg by the Exertions of W" Goddard.] 

Draft of Memorandum, etc. 

We the Subscribers E. D. <fe E. J. D. having agreed 
to and with W. & M. K. G. attomies of <fe for C. L. of 
Vircinia — in consideration of their Bill on R. M. Esq', 
of I'hiladelphia payable to us or order for the sum of 

n. (if any money paid by the attornies then add 

— and of the sum of to us paid) and of their hav- 


ing passed their Bond to us of this Date to indemnify 
us against all Claims <fe Demands on a Bond passed l>v 

us to W. B. for the principal Sum of to give & 

deliver unto the said Attorn ies the articles of Agree- 
ment executed by the said C. L. for the Conveyances of 
certain Lands in B. County in Virg*. unto us & our 
Heirs in order & for the purpose that the said Articles 
may be cancelled. Now by this writing signed by us 
this Day of 1782 we acknowledge that we 

have accordingly given up & delivered to the said At- 
tornies the articles aforesaid for the purpose of vacating 
the said Agreement and cancelling the said Articles. 

E. D. 
Wit7ies8 E. J. D. 

N. B. If they sliouM object to the above form a 
short note signifying that the Articles are given up will 
be sufficient 

Whereas the af^. E. & E. J. Dorsey by their Bond 
or Obligation bound themselves & each oi them to pay 
to M"". W". Bird the principal sum of 

Now the Condition of the above Obligation is such 
that in case the above bounden W. & M. K. G. or either 
of them shall or do deliver up unto the said E. & E. J. 
Dorsey or either of them the Bond aforesaid to the 
said W. B. cfe wholly and fully Indemnify, save harm- 
less and discharge the said E. & E. J. Dorsey, and each 
of them their <fe each of their Heirs Executors & Admin- 
istrators against all Claims cfe Demands whatsoever on 
or on Account of the af^ Bond to the said W. B. then 
the above Obligation to be void else to remain in full 
force <fe virtue. 



FOUNDED 1804. 


The New- York Historical Society has established a fund 
for the regular publication of its transactions and Collections in 
American History. Publication is very justly regarded as one of the 
main instruments of usefulness in such institutions, and the amount 
and value of what they contribute to the general sum of human 
knowledge through this agency, as a just criterion of their success. 

To eflfect its object, the Society proposed to issue One Thousand 
Scrip shares of Twenty-five Dollars each. Each share is trans- 
ferable on the books of the Fund, in the hands of the Treasurer, and 
entitled the holder, his heirs, administrators or assigns, to receive : 

I. Interest — Until the Fund was complete, or sufficient, in the 
opinion of the Trustees, to enable the publications to com- 
mence without impairing the principal thereof, interest on the 
par value of his share or shares at the rate of five per cent, 
per annum. 

II. Publications — One copy of each and every publication made at 
the expense of the Fund, amounting to not less than one Octavo 
Volume of five hundred pages per annum. 

The number of copies of these publications is strictly limited to 
twelve hundred and fifty — of which the Society receives for 
corresponding Societies and exchanges for the increase of the Library, 
TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY copies — but no copies are offered for sale 
or disposition in any other manner by the Society. 

The conditions of subscription included a pledge on the part of 
the Society that the moneys received should be applied for these 
imrposes, and no other, and be invested solely in stocks of the United 
States, the City and State of New- York, or on bond and mortgage, 
and be held forever by the President, Recording Secretary, and 
Treasurer of the Society, as Trustees (ox-officio) of the Publication 


The first proposals for the establishment of this Fund were issued 
in 1858. Received with much less interest on the part of the mem- 
bers than w^as expected, its total amount up to 1865 was so small as 
to suggest the necessity of abandoning the scheme and returning the 
amount of subscriptions and interest to the subscribers. An earnest 
effort, however, in that year brought up the amount to a point which 
gave the assurance of ultimate and not distant success. 

Admonished by the universal change of values, which has taken 
place within the past few years, and the necessity of increasing the 
amount of the Fund, the Society determined to terminate the issue 
of shares at the original price, and to double the price of the remain- 
ing shares. Other measures are in view which promise to enhance 
the value of the shares without failure in the full discharge of every 
obligation to the shareholders, who will receive all its benefits with- 
out any additional contribution to the increased Fund. 

Under the authority and direction of the Executive Committee, 
the series of publications began with the volume for the year 1868. 

Interest still due upon any shares to January i, 1868, will be 
paid to shareholders on application to the Secretary to the Trustees 
at the Library of the Society, Second Avenue, corner of Eleventh 
Street, where the volume for the current year is also ready for dis- 

Frederic de Pevster, 
Andrew Warner, 
Benjamin H. Field, 

George H. Moore, 

Secretary to the Trustees, 

%* Any person desiring to procure these publications, may pur 
chase a share in the Publication Fund, by enclosing a check or draft 
i'or FIFTY DOLLARS, payable to the order of Benjamin H. Field, 
Treasurer of the New-York Histoiical Society, for which the certificate 
will be immediately transmitted, luiih the volufJics already published^ as 
the purchaser may direct. 

J^" Address George H. Moore, I>ibrarian of the Historical 
Society, Second Avenue, corner of Eleventh St, New- York City. 

New- York, Decetfiber 1873. 



N. T. City. 


2. Sams, 

3. Samb, 

4. Same, 

5. Samb, 

6. Same, 

7. Same, 

8. Same, 

9. Same, 
10. Same, 

11. JonN B. MORBAU, 

12. Henry T. DboWne, 

13. Benjamin II. Field, 
14:. TnoMAs W. 0. Moore, 
16. George Bancroft, 

16. William Oiiauncet, 

1 7. CflABLES II. Ward, 
IS. William Mexzibs, 

19. J. WaTT3 DB PET8TER, 

20. Edwin Cboswell, 

21. Edward Everett, Boston^ Mass. 

22. IIobace Binnby, Phila.^ Fa. 

23. Frederic de Petsteb, If. F. City. 
2i. Augustus Scheli., " 

25. Andrew Warner, " 

26. GouverneubM Wilkins, " 

27. Ebastus 0. Benedict, " 

28. James Savaob, Boston^ Mass, 

29. S. Alofsen, 2f. Y. City. 
BO. Albert A. Martin, 
81 William B. Campbell, 

82. John Ai-sttotb, 

83. John Armstrong, 

84. Wm. L. CaiMBBRLAnr, 


































35. William B. Crosby, K F. City 

36. Horatio S. Brown, 

37. John A. Hardbxbergti, 

38. William P. Powers, 
89. Samuel Marsh, 

40. William H. II. Moore, 

41. C. V. S. Roosevelt, 

42. Robert Townsend, Albany. 

43. David Thompson, N. F. City 

44. James Stokes, 

45. George Peters, 

46. George T. Trimble, 

47. William Curtis Notes, 


49. Richard H. Bownb, 


51. John II. Chambers, 

52. George W. Pratt, 
63. Henbt a. Hublbut, 

54. August Belmont, 

55. Geobge R. Jackson, 

56. Cleayton Newbold, 

57. George Bbuce, 

58. F. A. Palmer, 

59. John Wabd, 

60. Samubl Jaudon, 

61. Thomas T. Stubgbs, 

62. John Reid, 

63. GusTAvrs Swan, 

64. Matthew Olarkson, 

65. William A. White, 

66. Wm. M. Halstbad, 

67. Thomas De Witt, 

68. Chablbs P. Kirklahd, 






























6D. II. G. Laweencb, -AT. F. City. 

70. Edwaiid F. DbLanokt, 

71. Cyru8 Curtiss, 

72. Smepiiekd Knapp, 
7'6, Edward DeWitt, 

74. D. B. Fayerweathbr, 

75. Mark IIoyt, 

76. Charles M. Connolly, 

77. CoR>JELiu8 DuBois, 

78. L. 0. Clark, 

79. Thomas Lawrence, 

80. Datii) T. Valentine, 

81. H'y Russell Drownk, 

82. JouN Fowler, Jr., 

83. William Bowne, 

84. Henry T. Drowne, 

85. Nehemiah Knight, Brooklyn. 

86. William S. Thoknk, K F. City, 

87. Alex'r MoL. Agnew, 

88. Robert 0. Goodhuk, 

89. George F. Nesbitt, 

90. John E. Wool, Troy. 

91. John P. Treadwell, Keio MiU 

fordy Conn. 

92. Isaac Fryer, K F. City, 

93. Charles J. Martin, 

94. Franklin F. Randolph, 

95. Samuel Coulter, 

96. David Van Nostrand, 

97. Addison G. Biokfobd, 

98. Jonas G. Dudley, 

99. Theodorus B. Taylob, 

100. William Soott, 

101. David Sloanb,